This is mostly a knitting blog. Sometimes pictures of things I've made, sometimes not. I'm a guy who knits, I usually attend a men's stitch 'n' bitch on Monday nights, and I prefer natural fibres to artificial ones. I have a love-hate relationship with bamboo yarns: I love what they can do and how they look, I hate how they are made. I've been knitting since about 2003, though I really didn't get into it until 2005, while convelescing with a broken leg. I must have discovered something good, 'cause I'm still knitting years later.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Double Knitting

Tragic though it may seem, I grew up in the '70s, the era of shag carpets, polyester, and double-knits.  Shag carpets were seen in all the playrooms in my neighbourhood, usually in shades of lime green. Polyester? I'll bet they had to kill six duPonts each to make some of those outfits. And dressy trousers that were available were labeled double-knit. I'm not sure what that meant, exactly. Double-knit. It was blaring on all the signs, on tags attached to the trousers, and seemed to be the best thing since sliced bread. I must say, ever since I've had any say in what I wear, I have avoided double-knit trousers. Shirts, too. They all seem to be made out of polyester.

However, this weekend past I attended a workshop on double-knitting, and it had nothing to do with either polyester or cheesy trousers from the Watergate era. I had tried to learn double knitting on my own. I am making a Harry Potteresque scarf for a friend, and I didn't want to do it in the round. I also didn't want it to have the thin stripes of yarn visible on the backside where I changed colours. So I instantly fell upon double knitting. I watched an instructional video on YouTube, and discovered about casting on (which I did, but dismally), and that I needed to carrry both yarns in front when I was only purling with one of them, and likewise, carry both to the back, when I was only knitting with the other. What I didn't catch onto was the way to keep the garment closed. The scarf was joined where I changed colours, but the other side was wide open, a gaping maw of stockinette. Well, thought I, I'll just block it and sew it when I'm done knitting. How else do you close this stuff?

The workshop showed me a better way to cast on. It's a bit tricky, and I'm none too co-ordinated doing it, but it is, in the long run, easier than the method I devised. I learned about twisting the yarn to close the garment on the sides, two different methods! I learned a lot about this technique, and can't wait to try more of it. Of course I have to make a hat! And some scarves! What fun!

The scarf I started for my friend? Harry Potteresque? Remember that? Yeah. I've knit about half of a couple of balls of yarn, I'm about a quarter of the way through. The whole thing will need to be taken off the needles, and begun again. The. Entire. Thing. But now I know, and the end result after the massive frogging witll be prettier and more stable. And I got a couple of ideas on a way to make the ends look cooler than I had originally planned. I'll post pictures when I finally get it done. Lessee, how many weeks til Christmas?

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