a blanket block in double knitting

One of the blocks for the Karma Blanket is in double knitting. I’ve never done this technique before.


I had heard of it as a story of leisurely ladies from the past who could knit two socks at once, the one hidden inside the other. By alternating yarn with every stitch you’d work two socks with every round. After binding off you’d do the magic trick and pull one sock from the other Tadaaah!
Hoping that in all those 30.000 stitches you had not mixed up the yarns once and knit one sock with the yarn from the other, because that would mean the two socks connected, with only one stitch, and NO WAY to separate them.

This block wants the two layers of knitting connected. By switching the yarn from the front side with the back side you get a patterned fabric. Identical on both sides but mirrorred.

With each stitch you have to bring the two yarns to the front or the back and then knit one of the strands. So it’s knitting ribbing all the time while keeping track of where you are in the pattern. I really had to concentrate. I could not watch a video during this, I resorted to BBC Radio 4 iPlayer instead.

I used the hours to practice knitting with two strands over my left finger, picking up the strand I needed. Until now I usually have one strand to the left and one to the right. The left I pick up knitting Continental Combined, the right using English Throwing.

 

Knitting a knit stitch:

Knitting a purl stitch:

They were a few joyfull hours. I love learning new techniques. And this technique, with its constant switching from knit to purls, is especially fitting for my usual knitting style: Continental Combined. To learn to add double strands to it was a pleasure.

This knitting was made while listening to:

  • Jennifer Saunders reading from her autobiography Bonkers, My Live in Laughs
  • Hester Blumenthal about inspirational cooking from England’s past and his modern adaptations
  • an Inspector Grant novel about the innocence of Richard III (Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. hello White Queen!) which makes me want to read more of them.
  • a report about the Silk Industry in Macclesfield, UK, which boomed in the Industrial era. Here they have 3 story high Weaver Cottages with large windows on the top floors so the women who lived there would have good weaving light. This I found interesting enough that I laid down the knitting and surfed the web to see how those looked like:

 

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