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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08 November 2006

Knitting Makes My Brain Stretch

Hah! I figured it out.

When I really got into frame knitting, one of my favorite things was plain stockinette on a double rake, which turns out "knitted" on both sides without being a hollow tube. It's thick and lofty and doesn't curl up.

I figured out how to do that on needles. Heh.

It's easy, if you're the kind of nut knitter who doesn't mind K1 P1 rib, or endless single moss stitch: Cast on in multiples of 4. Two stitches will form the front layer. The other two will be the back layer.

Important: the yarn passes between the tips of the needles after every stitch.

K1, P1, slip one with yarn in back, slip one with yarn in front. Repeat until hands fall off.

If you want to do that in the round, take any odd number and multiply by two for your cast on. Then you can just keep knitting your 4-stitch unit around and around, and you will auto-magically shift from inside to outside without needing to do any weird do-si-do at your starting point.

I'm sure this has been done before, but as Elizabeth Zimmermann calls it, I "unvented" it for myself. I worked it out with my own little brain, and I'm all chuffed!

On a double round knitting frame (two concentric circle frames with the same number of pegs), it looks like this.

Okay, Cows of Our Planet was sitting by the chair, and I couldn't resist including it in the picture.

Everyone asks, "What holds those two rings together?"

I always want to answer "Elfin magic," but the truth is more prosaic: Yarn tension.

The hard part at the very beginning is keeping the inner circle from being pulled closer to one side or the other. I use rubber bands on the pegs to get the two frames spaced correctly, then I wrap the frame gently with a non-stretchy piece of dishcloth cotton. After I do my cast-on and the first wrap or two, I pull the cotton yarn out.

If you space the two frames unevenly (technically, the term would be "eccentrically", meaning "not having the same center", but Julie is making me a little nervous about using that word!), you get a knitted tube with shorter stitches on one side and longer stitches on the other, as if you'd knitted one half with bigger needles.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Isela: Purling Sprite said...

Bravo!!! This is wonderful, truly genious!!

11:22 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I'm not eccentric, I'm interesting. Ha.

Very cool tutorial on double-knit AND frame knitting, all at once! (I love Gary Larson too.)

12:53 PM  
Blogger DEEP END OF THE LOOM said...

Way cool on the double rings, dang now I have to try it. Damn you Domestic Goddesses have too much time on your hands (kinda glad you do cause you come up with the neatest stuff). UNDOMESTICATE YOURSELF WOMAN!! your giving me an eccentric balance in my life HAHA love that word. roflol.

9:48 AM  

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