Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Breaking out of the rut

For years, I have know that jacquard double knitting doesn’t have to be identical (reverse or mirror image)—I’ve even done some double knitting that isn’t (like my tic-tac-toe potholder--Side A had X winning, side B had O winning) (see May 08 archives )

One of the more well known
jacquard patterns for double knitting is a stripe pattern--Vertical stripes on side A, horizontal stripes on side B.

But all of the directions I have seen for this pattern have been done the old fashioned, slow way (work some stitches/slip some stitches, work the row again, working the slipped stitches with yarn 2, then turn the work and repeat(that is, USE 2 passes to complete each row!)

In the old fashioned process, to work all the stitches on the needle, you ‘process’ them twice—First working with yarn A, (working some stitches, and slipping others) then you REPEAT with Yarn B, working the stitches that were previously slipped, and slipping the stitches that were previously worked!(the worked stitches might be Knit or Purl).

I tried that for 1 repeat, and then started to work the improved method—
2 yarns per row, all stitches worked in a row.

At the end of a row; turn and work next row(Knit or purl all the stitches in a row, with either yarn A or Yarn B method.)

This is an unvention, as EZ would say…I doubt I am the first person to have figured this out—I am just the first person (I think!) to write the directions. )
Like other jacquard double knitting, in hand it feels like ribbing (K1, P1) and both yarn are carried together, and moved (front to back) together, but only 1 yarn is used to make a stitch.

Vertical and Horizontal Striped Double knitting:

Cast on multiple of 4 +3 (my pot holder has 37 (32+3) stitches per side.
(Total cast on of 74 stitches.)This will have the Vertical Stripe side starting and ending with the same color(in my case the tan)

R1: *Color A: K1, P1, K1, Color B: P1 (row will end with K1, P1 in color A)

R2: *Color A: K1 Color B: P1, K1, P1, (row ends with K1 color B, Purl 1 color A)

Or if you prefer:
R1: *Work 3 in color A, Work 1 in color B
R2: *Work 1 in color B, Work 3 in color A

While the pattern isn’t immediately evident (not unusual for double knitting) you do have a 3/1 pattern on your needle (and can visually check the stitches on the needle to confirm you’ve done the row correctly)

Another interesting Double knitting stitch pattern is one that uses simple double knitting (K1, Slip 1) combined with REAL slip stitches (ie, a stitch that spans 2 rows!)

The result is a Side A is has a pattern, and Side B is a solid color.(You can see the white stitches from side a on the needle, but not in the knitting)

It’s a bit slower, and it must be worked on circ or double ended needle (a long DPN or a Swing needle)

The pattern on the 2 yarn rows (the white and pink worked together) is almost identical to the Row 1 and Row 2 of the Vertical and Horizontal stripe pattern.
If you make the Vertical and Horizontal stripe pattern first, this pattern will be easy to learn.

R1: *Color A: K1, P1, K1, Color B: P1 (row will end with K1, P1 in color A)
R2 A: using only Dark (pink) K1, S1 across row.
R2 B: using only Dark (pink yarn)*K1, Slip 1… (8 times, then slip 1, slip 1) repeat.
R3: *Color A: K1 Color B: P1, K1, P1, (row ends with K1 color B, Purl 1 color A)
R4A and R4B are the same as R2A and R2B.

I’ve finish Pink Potholder 1 (well finished the knitting, I still have to weave in the tails!)

I am 4 or so rows from finishing Pink potholder 2 (the Vertical and Horizontal Stripes)

Pink 3 (one side patterned, one side solid) is started (with about 3 or so inches knit).

These potholders measure (now) about 10 inches x 11.5 inches-(or 25 c by 29c.) They are oversized! I use mine as both potholders and hot mats--especially for plates hot from the oven (microwave oven that is!)

After the first washing, they will shrink in length, and expand in width.. and will be about 10.5 X 10.5 (or about (rough in the head math!) 27c x 27c--and will still be oversized. Washing and shrinking cotton tends to cause it shrink in one direction, and expand in the other!

The Blue socks are just a few rows away from toe shaping. I might finish them tonight... (or I might not!)


themamajama said...

I thought I could ignore the lure of this technique but now I wish I snuck my kntting bag into work! Thanks for the clear directions

zippiknits said...

Very interesting technical write out. I've never understood exactly what was happening before and now I do. Thanks Helen for your pattern.