Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sleight of Hand


A few weeks ago, I paid $40 to take my first knitting class--the Fair Isle Hat Class. I attended only one of the two days because by the time I'd finished the first class, I had grasped the concept of Fair Isle knitting and finished the project that same night. By the time the second class came around, I had finished my second hat. Instead of taking the second half of the class, I stayed home and napped that day. I vowed that unless it was something I felt the internet couldn't teach me, I was not going to take another class. $40 buys a lot of yarn.

Can you find my mistake? I may let it stand...

When I saw the Michigan double knit hat at the yarn store, I wanted the pattern, but didn't want to take the class to get the pattern. I talked the young lady, Ann Marie, who created the pattern, into selling it to me without taking the class. Of course, I had no clue how to do double knitting, but I wasn't going to let that stop me. After paying for the pattern, I went home and googled, double knitting. I found a video on KnittingHelp.com (I love that site and owe all of my initial skill to their videos), and a great article on Knitty.com, another fabulous site for skill building, not to mention free patterns. Following Ann Marie's pattern, I cast on for the 2 colored hat and I haven't looked back.

Double knitting is nothing short of magical. Magical. Essentially, I'm knitting two hats at once--a tube within a tube-- that are connected only at the cast on edge, and again at the M. The connection occurs when the knitter swaps the position of the two yarns. In this case, I knit the M in blue on the yellow side and in yellow on the blue side. Ingenious! I will say, this is not a technique you'll embrace if you hate to purl. Though it's clear that this is a stockinette pattern, and knit in the round, and we know that every stitch is knit to get that effect, to create a mirror image, one color is knit and the second color is purled. Fixing mistakes? Oy. Now that's a challenge. I have 2 errors that I missed, but I'll fix those in the end by embroidering over them with yarn (gotta love duplicate stitching!). Then again, I may let the mistakes stand.


Mirror image made by alternating colors and the knit/purl stitch. The yellow stitches are knit and the blue purled. To make the M, I knit the blue and purled the yellow.

There are several applications for this technique, one of which I'll try after the first of the year: two socks at a time knit one inside the other.

Be still my little knitter's heart.

19 comments:

Miss T said...

Double knitting is on my list of things to learn!

Rudee said...

It was easy to start, Miss T, but I'm sure the decreasing will be a challenge. I'll keep you posted.

As I've been knitting, I've been thinking of something unique to create with this technique. My mind is jumping ahead of my hands.

sapphireblue said...

Your project looks great. Thanks for the link.

Miss 376 said...

I've never tried it, but you seem to have got the hang of it, no trouble at all. Two socks sounds like a real challenge

Brenda said...

I need all the help I can get most of the time, so thanks for sending out the sites to visit. Someday I hope you make your own video, showing us how FAST you knit. You really can accomplish so much!

Stephanie V said...

Double knitting IS magic. I love it, too. My father told me that when he was a boy, his grandmother, totally blind, would make double knit mittens for the family. This was Nova Scotia so I'm sure their hands were happy. I have knit double knit mittens and I needed both eyes to do it!

laurie said...

lord.
all i can say is, LORD.

Rudee said...

Laurie, you would lurve this hat. It's very roomy and doesn't feel at all toyt.

Rose said...

Wow, that was fast! The hat is beautiful. Now that you're off, I'm back at work, so my knitting has slowed down.

Gail said...

Looks great!

Jadekitty said...

Double knitting makes me very afraid :)

Queenmothermamaw said...

Wow, I am impressed. I believe you are a humdinger of a knitter. I don't blame you for wanting to pay for a pattern. I bet you could out knit the teacher.
QMM

Quiltluver said...

Looks good. Go Blue! Karen

Anonymous said...

nice hat..


ftm

Kathleen said...

Wait!I couldn't quite get past the first line. You just took your FIRST knitting class?!?!? Thunk...the sound of me fainting.

jeannette stgermain said...

You're an awesome knitter, Rudee!

What you have with knitting, I have with painting. If I'm supposed to clean the house, because guests are coming, I'm suddenly painting up a storm (and making a mess! instead!). It must be our artist brain that gets inspiration at the "right" times-haha.

Cynthia Pittmann said...

What a project! You are the perfect student...the one who doesn't need a teacher! Love the hat, Rudee.

Mrs. A said...

What a great job you're doing! I'm looking forward to seeing it finished. Take LOTS of pics!

I've been in a knitting slump - colour work has me stalled. I thought that a class was what I needed. Your idea is better - I should just get over myself and find a couple of good videos and make my own class!

Now, I wonder if I can wait until after Christmas to get started...

Cheers!

Catherine said...

This is amazing! I look forward to viewing the videos - I never heard of double knitting like this and had no idea how it was done, so you've set a nice challenge for the long winter months! Haven't visited in a while, so will try to catch up - love your posts!