Double your knitting, double your fun
I was able to attend a class on Double Knitting taught by the one and only Lucy Neatby. Lucy is quite the character and quite the knitter. Lucy is a former Merchant Marine Officer. I found an older picture of Lucy on the internet and I have to say I like her better with her bright rainbow colored hair. I have multiple DVDs by Lucy which I have watched most of them from beginning to end and I didn't realize that she loved to where shoes of two different colors. Isn't her Andean Vest the best? I saw this at the class and it is wonderful.
Ok. I never could wrap my mind around double knitting. So, when Lucy was teaching this class sponsered by Blazing Needles in Salt Lake City, I signed up immediately. I didn't have a clue as to how to use or knit double knitting. And I only knew one person who ever did double knitting. But I thought I could learn a lot from Lucy.
After fumbling my way through the class, I decided that I wanted to knit a scarf in double knitting. Lucy recommended the Plaid DK (Double Knitting) Pattern. So, I bought it plus a whole lot of other patterns and some Kauni yarn, but I digress. This is one side of the scarf. It is knit with fingering weight yarn, the white is a sock yarn and the blues is a indy dyers fingering weight yarn that I had a lot of in my stash.
When you start a double knitting project, Lucy recommends the Tubular Cast On. This gives you a rounded beautiful cast on edge. I have to say, it took me several tries to "get" this cast on. And I am sure that the next time I use it, I will be watching my DVD or a YouTube video. The link for the Tubular cast on is featured on a beautiful baby bonnet pattern by Lucy. This little bonnet is so very cute and would be really warm because it is DK.
This is a picture of the double knitting on two needles to show you the front and the back of the scarf. To knit this, all the stitches are on one needles, front and back stitches are alternated. I didn't realize until I took the class with Lucy, that when you are double knitting you knit in a sort of k1, p1 ribbing style. This now makes sense to me. Because when you are knitting a row, you are knitting both the front and the back of the scarf. The knit stitch is used for the fabric in the front of the scarf and the purl stitch is used on the back fabric. This is accomplished with a technique of moving your yarn back and forth out of the way of the yarn used to knit. I know that I am not explaining this very well. I'm still VERY NEW to this technique. Here's a excerpt from Lucy Neatby's Double Knitting Delight DVD. I do OK with double knitting until I change colors. Then I sometimes mess up the pattern. Fortunately, correcting your mistakes in DK is just like correcting your mistakes in knitting stockinette.
What do I like about double knitting? One: I liked the challenge of learning something that is an advanced technique. It took a little while until I had the "aha!" moment. That was when I could identify the front and back fabric on my needles. Two: I love knitting with two colors in two hands. This reminds me of two handed fair isle knitting which is my favorite type of knitting. Three: I like that Lucy's pattern for the simple scarf gives several variations to try to knit. This will help because I get bored with a long repetition in a scarf. This is not late night TV knitting. I have to really concentrate while I knit double knitting. It is still not ingrained on my brain.
If you have never seen a Lucy Neatby DVD, I strongily encourage you to watch one. She has the best techniques and the very best teaching methods out there. She reminds me of Elizabeth Zimmermann in that she encourages you to put you boundries. I know that I have pushed my boundries with Double Knitting.