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.

Posted in Projectile

53 Christmas Balls*

*left to go

L, M & I took a class at our LYS (gosh, it’s so strange to write that… after all this time, we finally do have a LYS!) in December, a sort of knit-along to the Arne & Carlos book 55 Christmas Balls To Knit.  For me, the class was more of an accountability feature.  Without it, I would have bought the book, stashed it on a shelf, and never made a single ball.  Having a scheduled time (and paying money to go) made certain I finished at least one.  As it was, I ended up making two.

The ornaments are fairly simple, consisting of four identical “panels” repeated over each of your four DPNs.  They are knitted in the round, stuffed, then sewn shut- and then decorated if you are so inclined.

My first project was Ornament #31, which had a four-hearts-in-a-diamond motif on each panel.  We were given Ella Rae Classic yarn to work with, which is a worsted weight wool.  The book calls for a fingering weight wool.  I do intend to knit one (some?) with fingering weight to see how they look with a finer yarn.  The Ella Rae was adequate for a little project like this.

julekuler no. 31

I shoved as much Polyfill into this sucker as I thought it could take, sewed it up with a darning needle, then made a bastardized I-cord with two strands each of the red & white. I sewed that onto the bound-off edge/hole and made a hanging loop. It’s cute but too thick with the worsted yarn. If I get ambitious I’ll try it with fingering weight, but a single strand of worsted yarn was a nice enough hanger without too much trouble..

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With the second ball, I decided I ought to start from the beginning of the book (instead of the dead middle, where I normally begin things). So Ornament #1 is actually my second project.

This time I shoved twice as much Polyfill in and boy, did it make a difference. My second ornament is huge compared to the first, and also much stouter. It feels like a ball instead of a knitted floppy roundish thing. There’s such a difference I may unwork the first one a bit and get some more filling into it.

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I also did a little duplicate stitching over the edges of the snowflake motif on ball #1 to give it a glinty look. Next time I will probably do snowflakes in a more appropriate color, rather than yellow. Hey, I was just using up some yarn left over from the Harry Potter scarf.

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I recently met someone who had knitted a couple dozen of these. She knitted them flat on two needles, then seamed each one up the back. I didn’t care for the look- I think the DPNs make a huge difference. The seaming could have been better but, even if it was flawless, it still would have left a funny ridge. Plus, who wants to seam? However, the one advantage to the flat technique is that she could use a styrofoam craft ball for the “filling”. I suppose you could knit in the round on DPNs over one but it would probably be pretty tricky.