The Basics of Double Knitting

Double Knitting can appear daunting at first, but once you dive in, I think you’ll find it’s not as hard as it sounds! Garments made using the double knitting technique tend to be thicker and warmer than those created with regular knitting because they’re made of two layers.

The idea behind double knitting is that you are creating two layers of fabric at the same time – one is created at the back of your work, and one is created at the front. These stitches are worked in pairs.  Each ‘pair’ consists of the front layer stitch and the back layer stitch, typically in two different colours.Image of Double knitting pattern: Shawn's hat

This tutorial is designed to go along with my double knit hat: Shawn’s Hat. Want to be among the first to hear when the pattern is available on Ravelry (AND get a discount code sent straight to your inbox)? Join my email list here! Pattern is expected to drop on April 20!

To create an item with stockinette on each side, start with both yarns to the back and knit first stitch with main (outside) colour. Then move both yarns to the front and purl the next stitch with contrast (inside) colour. Honestly, it’s much easier to do than explain, so just dive in and give it a try 🙂

In this example, the blue yarn is the Right Side (RS/Outside), and the red yarn is the Wrong Side (WS/Inside).

I find double knitting simpler when done in the round, so a hat or something similar would make a good first project! When double knitting flat, it is important to remember to twist the yarns at the beginning of each row, and you must also remember that the side facing you switches. For this example, you would knit the blue stitches and purl the red when working on the right side, while on the wrong side, you would knit the red stitches and purl the blue. For the sake of simplicity, this tutorial just refers to working on the right side. 

1. Ready to begin the next pair of double knit stitches (I cast on an odd number of stitches to start with, so disregard the first red stitch).

double knitting tutorial step 1

2. With both yarns held to the back, you will knit the first (blue, right side) stitch.

Double knitting: step 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Note that you are just knitting with the main colour (blue) here, NOT both yarns!

double knitting: step 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. The first (right side) stitch of this pair has been completed.

double knitting, step 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Next you will be purling the red (contrast colour/wrong side) stitch. First you must move both yarns to the front of your work.

double knitting step 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Purl the next stitch. Remember to use just the red working yarn (not both).

double knitting, step 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

purl the next stitch (double knitting tutorial)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. The second stitch of the pair is complete. You are ready to move both yarns to the back of your work and continue on!

double knitting tutorial: last step: second stitch of the pair is completed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that’s it! What do you think? Are you ready to dive in? I’d love to hear about your double knitting projects! And let me know if you have any questions – I’m here to help. 🙂

 

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