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

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20 September 2006

It's All Double Knitting

Double knitting! What the heck makes it double knitting anyway?

I call it "double knitting" any time I am knitting two layers on the same set of needles.

So if you are knitting two socks in the round on the same set of needles (a la Knitty's "2 socks in 1", the two layers are the inside sock, and the outside sock.

If you are knitting a flat potholder like the ones at About.com, with a reverse-color pattern on each side, the two layers interlock, but you still have a foreground-color-layer and a background-color-layer. On the Christmas ornaments, one layer would be green tree/white background, and the other layer is white tree/green background.

If you are knitting a tube on a set of straight needles, one layer is the front of the tube, the other layer is the back of the tube.

Here is a quick tube knitted out of crochet cotton: First the tube is dark blue. Then I added in some white, and pulled it to make sure the layers were separate. Last I went back to the blue. I've knitted a row of the blue, which is half a round of this 11-stitch tube.

I had a question on the double knitting group asking "What does it mean when a pattern says DO NOT TURN the work?"

If you are knitting in the round (2 socks at once, a double-layered hat), you won't be turning the work. It just spirals around and around.

If you are knitting a double-layered flat piece, you won't turn it if you are knitting one color at time, and have only knitted one of the two colors.

For example, when I knitted the start of the little tree ornament, one side was white and the other was green. One way of knitting this is to knit a white stitch and slip a green stitch, across the row. Then when the white is done, you slide the work back to the other end of the needle and slip a white stitch, purl a green stitch.

You do turn the work, but only after you have knitted both layers and gotten both colors of yarn back to one end of the needles.

(The other way of knitting this is to do both layers at once: with both colors in back, knit a white stitch. Bring both colors between the tips of the needles to the front. Purl a green stitch. Bring both colors between the tips of the needles to the back, and continue. As long as you are very careful not to let the colors twist around each other, this is faster. But I admit that at first it feels like juggling with chainsaws! And since you have knitted a row on both layers, after you pull this trick off, yes, you do turn your work.)

If you are knitting a flattened tube, you do turn the work at the end of each row.

Just like in flat knitting, turning the work means you have finished a row. If the pattern tells you not to turn, usually that means you have knitted only one of the two layers.

Now that I've gotten myself totally tangled in my own words, I think it's time to stop!

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