Double Knitting Tips and the Stripes and Blocks Blanket
Knitting can be mysterious and magical, especially to those who don’t know how to turn a skein of yarn into a piece of fabric. Take it a step further with colorwork, in particular double knitting, where you create two layers of knit fabric at the same time, with the knit sides facing out and the purled sides together. The free Stripes and Blocks Blanket is a wonderful opportunity to practice this technique. Pairing the double-knit structure of the blanket with Alegria Grande makes it extra cozy and machine washable!
We often advise knitters to approach a new technique one stitch at a time. That applies here with a reminder: every stitch belongs to a pair of stitches. This pair is made up of a knit stitch of one color and a purl stitch of another color. The top layer of fabric is made up from the knit stitches and the bottom layer is made by those purl stitches. Double knitting can feel like you are knitting a ribbing, as you alternate knit and purl stitches, but only the knit sides of the fabric face outward.
For this tutorial, Foil (pale gray) is Color A and Manglar (multi) is Color B. We’ve cast on the stitches with the Foil, placing stitch markers as instructed. Row 1 begins with a k1 in color B and a p1 in color A as shown in the photo above. It is important to remember when working each stitch, both yarns are held to the back (to knit) or brought to the front (to purl) before working that stitch. We will continue on until we reach the stitch marker.
At the first stitch marker we have a color change and there is a switch to knit one with Color A and purl one with Color B. This continues to the next stitch marker, where we switch back. This sequence is repeated across the row.
Here, Row 1 is complete and we are set up for horizontal stripes across the row: Manglar, Foil, Manglar, Foil, Manglar. As you continue to work the stitches as they appear in the next few rows, this color blocking will be easier to see.
Where the colors change, you will have a spot with two adjacent color B stitches: the p1 of the last pair and the k1 of the next. Don’t let it throw you! Just keep thinking in “knit 1, purl 1” pairs and remember each pair has to use opposite colors. The stitch markers between the color sections are very helpful!
After row 7 is complete, take a moment to check out your progress. Notice that when you compare the front (left photo) and back (right photo) of your project, both sides show stockinette fabric and are the opposite colors! Your edges are tidy, as you’ve made sure that the yarn for the first stitch of each row comes from underneath the other strand.
That’s all there is to double knitting! The Stripes and Blocks pattern is clearly written to instruct you where to change the colors in each stitch pair, so as you work through you’ll see the color blocks emerge. This pattern is easy to modify for width and length to suit your coziest desire!
Don’t let double knitting intimidate you!
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