Posted in Uncategorized

Double Knitting

The new obsession around these parts is double knitting. I learned this technique several years ago and played around with a few projects, such as the Hönkä scarf I started back in September of 2011. It’s almost done and I don’t know why I let it languish for so long with just 20-odd rows left to go.

Honka scarf

But my interest in double knitting was rekindled by the chance discovery of a lovely book, M’Lou Baber’s Double Knitting: Reversible Two-Color Designs.

Double Knitting: Reversible 2-Color Designs desk copy

Her technique differs slightly from the way I originally learned to double knit, in that she uses only one yarn for the beginning border, then switches to double knitting, then back to regular (usually ribbed) knitting to finish. Essentially, it’s a standard knit border around a double knit fabric.

I did the heart coaster (or hotpad, since it’s worsted yarn and rather big) and also the headband to practice. Both came out reasonably well.

Heart cloth

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Double Knit Headband

Double Knit Headband Reverse

I like the look of the single-yarn border with the double knit fabric, except I noticed that you get a funny row (or column) of the contrast color on the row where you change to single-knit. It’s most obvious in the second heart coaster photo.

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It’s not quite as obvious on the headband, but still noticeable.

Double Knit Headband Reverse

The heart coaster is not a very good sample because I used two different weight yarns and didn’t have a good tension. It is a good example of bad knitting. The headband came out much better as I had more of a rhythm and improved tension. I also used two different weights of yarn for the headband, but they were fingering and sport, where the heart cloth is fingering with worsted.

On the headband, I actually like the way the black pops out on the green side. It is the heavier weight yarn, so on the black side it kind of swallows up the green. But on the green side, it just pops right out. It looks really cool and I would probably do that again on purpose if I made another.

However, my next project will not be a headband. I want to make the Central Park Coat instead. I just have to settle on two colors.

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Posted in Worsted - Wait!

Scarf of Wizarding

My older daughter, S6, has been pre-invited to a birthday party.  The birthday honoree (who has been planning her upcoming party since the day after her last one) is a huge fan of  all things Harry Potter, and has let it be known that her party will have a Harry Potter theme.  I say we have been pre-invited because the party itself isn’t for two months yet.  Invitations haven’t even been written, let alone sent out.  But damn if I don’t appreciate a gift recipient who gives plenty of notice.  That’s how you get nice knitted gifts, friends.  You let your attendees know long in advance exactly what’s going on so they can mull over patterns, pick over yarns, and get knitting.

Little M6 idolizes Hermione and has a complete (and alarmingly accurate) costume, complete with a school tie in Gryffindor house colors and a little plastic wand that looks suspiciously real.  She has everything for her costume except a scarf, as her mother sensibly made her choose between that and the tie (somehow the tie won out, though I hear it was a difficult battle).  So really, it seems completely and totally obvious that I just had to knit her a Gryffindor scarf.  I don’t see any other options- do you?

I enjoyed the HP novels and saw most of the movies, but I wasn’t enough of a fangirl to just jump in and start knitting without a little research.  I soon discovered that the Gryffindor colors have changed somewhat over time.  In the earlier movies, the burgundy is a reddish brown and the scarf has wide stripes of burgundy and gold in equal thicknesses.  The later movies have changed the burgundy to a more plum shade, with two thin gold stripes repeated over the length rather than the symmetrical blocks of the earlier style.  Fortunately, M6 hasn’t seen the later movies (she’s 6, and they’re kind of violent).  So it’s wide stripes of reddish brown and gold.

I’m using Lauren Kent’s Hogwarts Scarf pattern and a cheap Lion yarn (Vanna’s Choice- hey, it was on sale for $2.50 a skein) on two pairs of size US 5 (3.75mm) circular needles.  The scarf is knitted in the round, which is kind of neat since you (a) don’t have to purl and (b) (more importantly) can leave all those color-change ends inside the tube, and just sew the ends of the scarf shut once you’re done knitting.  Voila!  No weaving in!  Even better, you could do that nifty three-needle-bindoff, which I hope to attempt IF AND WHEN THIS MINDLESS STOCKINETTE EVER ENDS.

We’re making progress, though.    There are 12 burgundy and 11 gold stripes (23 total), plus fringe, and I’ve got 10 stripes done already.  It’s a nice mindless pattern for teevee knitting, but boy, am I tired of stockinette.  (In case you hadn’t noticed.)  If I finish this quickly and have yarn left over, there are a few other Gryffindor-related patterns I might consider for a second part to the gift.

HP scarf