Friday, January 18, 2019

Double Reversible Knitting

I have been knitting since I was in sixth grade.  I have made thousands of items from small dishcloths to complicated Norwegian sweaters which I had to steek and Aran cable garments.  I have used thin fingering yarn to thick bulky yarn.  I was becoming bored with it because I like a challenge, and I really don't like to make the same thing twice.  I do make things over and over again, but I would prefer not to.  I surprised myself this winter when I learned a new technique.  I needed some warmer mittens.  I seldom knit for myself, but I thought I would quickly make some for when the weather is really cold like it is getting now.  I have made double mittens in the past where you actually knit two mittens connected at the cuff and tuck one section into the other.  This method makes a really warm double mitten.  While looking for a pattern, I came across another process for achieving the same results.  I was familiar with double knitting and even bought a pattern a few years ago, but the instructions were not that precise.  I forgot about it and never attempted it.  The pattern I now found was very easy.  They are double and reversible.

My first attempt at this pattern made a huge mitten.  They are double thick so they look big but this was too big.  Rather than adjust the number of stitches, I just used knitting needles that were two sizes smaller.  Instead of a size 6 needle, I used size 4's.  It made a mitten that was just right for me.  Basically you can use any mitten pattern, but after the cuff is made, you have to increase each stitch so you have twice as many stitches. 

To get familiar with the stitch it may be helpful to cast on fifty stitches or so.  You knit the first stitch, bring the yarn to the front as if to purl but instead of purling the stitch, you slip it with the yarn in front, put the yarn to the back and knit the next stitch.  Just repeat this across the row making sure that your last stitch is a slip stitch and your first stitch is a knit stitch.  Repeat this pattern back and forth and your knitting will not have a back side but will look knit on both sides.

You can see the outside of the mitten and the inside of the mitten look the same.  It would be perfect for a scarf because you could knit every row but you wouldn't have one smooth side and one bumpy side. 

I am so happy I learned this new technique.  I will use it often.  I guess you are never too old to learn.  I also discovered there are many different ways to cast on stitches and bind off.  I just have to broaden my horizons.