Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

26 December 2005

Question from a member of one of my (many) Yahoo groups:

> I looked at your mittens on the straight needles. How do you do that? Very interesting.

They are more on-topic for the Yahoo double-knitting group than this one, and I find the process much easier to demonstrate than describe.

But I'll take a whack at it anyways! If knitting a tube on a knitting frame, we use either a round frame, or at least a continuous one. Since I started knitting on frames, I realized that the shape of the frame did not matter: you can knit a tube on a square, a circle, a heart, an oval, whatever shape you like as long as the pegs continue around it.

Needle knitters can do the same thing, sort of. They can knit in the round with 3 needles, so the needles form a triangle and a 4th one is the working needle. They can knit using 4 needles, so the needles form a square.

In double-knitting that creates a tube, I collapse the tube flat, like a flattened tube sock. If you interlace just the tips of your fingers, that is how the stitches are arranged on the needle. The fingers of one hand are one side of the flattened tube, and the fingers of the other are the other side. When I knit, I purl a front stitch and slip a back stitch all across the row. Then I do this a second time, and I have done one round. (It is possible to create a tube knit-side out, but you have to bring the yarn to the back, knit, bring the yarn to the front, slip, and I find that more time-consuming.)

One advantage of this is that I am only using one pair of single-pointed needles and a double-pointed needle to knit a pair of mittens, both at once. If I was knitting both at once on dpns, I would need at least 7 needles, 3 in each and a working needle.

Another advantage is that once I learned to tighten the end stitches, I don't get "ladders" (loose stitches where you go from one dpn to the next).

And I don't know if this is an advantage or not, but knitting this way is certainly a conversation-starter!



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