My Virtual Sanity

Have you ever felt the need to share your thoughts with virtual strangers just so you can pretend that you have adult conversations during the day? Well, that's what I'm about to do. Be prepaired for my life as a stay at home, obsessive knitter, and my attempts to stay connected with the rest of the world.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Double Knitting 2 Different Designs

Someone on the Knitlist asked if it was possible to double knit an item, but to knit a different picture on each side. I have thought about this before. I have a pattern for a beautiful fair isle blanket that was knit in 2 pieces then seamed all the way around. I always thought the seams were ugly and it would just be easier to double knit it rather than to have to pull out the darn needle. So, this question inspired me to grab some of my standby acrylic and some bamboo needles to make some swatches.... er experiments. Doesn't "Experiment" sound better than swatch?

My original hypothesis (look at me sounding all scientific) was that when you have a block of the same color on both sides of the fabric that it would not separate into the 2 sides, but would make ribbing instead. After all, that's essentially what doublekniting is; ribbing with 2 different colors. I'm afraid that I jumped the gun and responded to the person on the knitlist stating that this was my hypothesis without actually testing it to see if it was a scientific knitting fact. After sending that response, I pulled out my needles to test it. I decided that the best way to test that was to knit one side of the fabric in a solid color while working the other side with a picture in the middle. This would create a block in the center of the second side that was the same color as the first side. This is what happened:As you can see, it is indeed possible to double knit one side in a solid color and the other side with a picture. It is important, however to pay attention to the color that you are carrying along. You need to make sure that when you're ready to use it again that you tug on it and pull up all the slack. If you let it stay slack, it will appear like purl bumps through the fabric on the solid color side. I can see great possibilities with this technique! Can't you just picture a beautiful double knit baby blanket with a solid color on one side and the child's name and birth information on the other?

Well, that actually amazed me. Double knitting really is like magic. My hypothesis was proven false. Well, if you can knit one side solid and a picture on the other side then I'm pretty sure you can in fact knit 2 different pictures. Given that my previous hypothesis was proven false, however, I'm not taking any chances. I needed to test this out too:
I attempted to knit a diamond on one side and a heart on the other, but I have to tell you, watching 2 different charts at the same time at 10pm about exploded my brain. As you can see, it is absolutely possible to double knit 2 different pictures. I have to warn you, though, this requires FAR more concentration than any other form of knitting I have yet attempted! You need to follow one chart from right to left and the other from left to right at the same time. Double knitting is fairly flexible about letting you hide your mistakes inside the little pocket that it creates, but I would definitely suggest working in a tight gauge and starting out with a VERY simple pattern.
I think this blanket might have to wait a bit. Can you imagine how many stitches you'd have on your needles if you double knit this?! I suppose at least you wouldn't get "second side" syndrome or have those seams up the sides...


Blogger Elizabeth in Norway said...

I was the one who raised the original question, and I actually reached the same wrong conclusion as you did when I was theorizing about it. Thanks for getting enthusiastic enough to jump right in and test it! Your results are very encouraging.

Currently this project is in the "research" stages for me, while I wait for an "athletic" (overdoing it during the knitting olympics) injury to heal. I was pleased pink to find that there were others on the list that had ideas on the subject and were interested enough to respond!

Elizabeth in Noray

3:13 AM  
Blogger Morgaine O'Herne said...

I'm knitting a scarf with lettering on one side only. It isn't easy to find information on how to do this. Thank you for telling how to prevent those huge purl bumps.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Morgaine O'Herne said...

Also, I think double-knitting two different patterns would be fairly easy if you put the patterns together into one, as in, first stitch side one, first stitch side two, second stitch side one, second stitch side two, etc.

6:57 PM  

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