New Techniques

I wrote this post on Sunday and was going to post it yesterday... but I forgot, and now it seems appropriate for Valentine's Day, so here you are!

I've been knitting mug cozies lately.  They're just little bands of knitting (or cloth) which wrap around your mug or your cup and serve the double purpose of keeping the mug warm and saving your hands from being burned.


The first one I knit was just a simple strip with a cable down the middle.  It's not finished yet though because it needs a button and I can't find my button jar.  (Finished it last night but it's a little short, so I'm keeping it as a prototype.)  So I knit another one, and I taught myself some new techniques!

I wanted to knit something with hearts on it, because I had scraps of red and white wool and it just seemed appropriate.  But I wanted a nice finish on both sides.  So I taught myself double knitting!

Scraps - my work station.
I had to learn to do the tubular cast-on.  It's complicated and looks like it would never work out, but then you get this really cool cast-on that doesn't show at all, and you have a piece of knitting which is a different colour on each side.

The cast-on.
 If you just kept knitting with one colour on each side, you'd end up with a tube or bag of knitting.  But I wanted a pattern in it, which sort of knits the two sides together.

After the first four rows.
 When you knit the pattern in, you sort of switch the sides of the knitting.  The basic technique is this: You have twice the number of stitches you actually need to produce the length of fabric you want, and you knit the first stitch in one colour, the second in the second colour, and keep alternating.   Then to knit in a pattern, as I did with the hearts, you reverse the colours, so that you knit a previously-white stitch with red, and the corresponding red stitch with white, to make the pattern.  (I think if you wanted a tube that was all one colour you would knit one, slip one across, and then knit the slipped stitches and slip the knit stitches on the way back. But in my mind it's easier to knit a solid-colour tube on circulars or DPNs.)  That's a really bad description but it's the best I can come up with.  And you get this!


Totally reversible.


And with hearts on it!


It fastens with a little loop and bobble affair, and it's in the shop today!

Comments

  1. Lovely! Double-knitting is going to be featured in an upcoming Cast On. You've done a great job with the technique.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! What is Cast On? I've not heard of it before.

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  2. I've been wanting to learn double knitting. Was it hard?

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    Replies
    1. Jenny, it's sort of the next step beyond regular stranded knitting. I didn't find it hard, but it takes a fair bit of concentration until you figure it out. I started with just a little piece - one repetition of my heart plus a few stitches on either side - and did it several times until I felt comfortable.

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    2. I should probably do more stranded work before trying double knitting then. I've only done one stranding project, tho it did turn out very nicely.

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    3. Probably not a bad idea :-) If you feel really comfortable working with two colours, I'd say go for it, but if not maybe a little more practise would help! And then you'll be ready to be confident about double knitting :)

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