Double knitting allows you to create two layers of fabric at the same time, with only one pair of needles. The right sides of each layer face out, and the wrong sides face each other: stockinette stitch on both sides! The finished fabric is entirely reversible, lending itself to colorwork, contrasting fibers, or simply a finished piece that is twice as warm! Use two contrasting colors, and you can create a piece of knitting with one color on each side and no “wrong side.” Learn how to knit an easy double knit pattern in a matter of minutes.
Each pair of double knitting stitches consists of one stitch in color A (blue) and one in color B (green). Any type of knitting needle will work for this technique.
Equipment / Tools
- Knitting needles in size appropriate for yarn
- Yarn in two colors, A and B
Double knitting is worked in pairs of stitches, one in each color, alternating across the row. The two-color alternating cast-on here is based on the long-tail cast-on.
- Hold the two yarns together as if they were one, make a slip knot and place it on the needle; count it as your first pair of stitches. Insert your fingers between the yarns such that A is over your index finger and B is over your thumb; cast on one A stitch.
- *Bringing A over B, switch the positions of the yarn so that B is over your index finger and A is over your thumb; cast on one B stitch. Bringing B over A, switch the positions of the yarn so that A is over your index finger and B is over your thumb; cast on one A stitch.
Repeat from * until you have an even number of stitches, plus two for edge stitches. Make sure the stitches alternate color in pairs. This is important for success in creating a double knitted fabric.
Selvage stitches are edge stitches. In most knitting, there is one selvage stitch at each end of a piece; in double knitting there is one stitch pair at each end. The selvage technique used here creates a nice, even, closed edge where the two fabrics meet. You will be slipping the stitch pair at the beginning of the row, and working them together at the end of the row.
- Slip the first two stitches, as if you were going to knit them together, to the right-hand needle.
The First Row
As you work across the row, bring both yarns to the back or front of the work depending upon whether you are about to knit or purl. You will be working only one stitch at a time, but both yarns have to be on the same side of the needle.
- *With both yarns in back and holding B out of the way to the left, use A to knit the A stitch. Bring both yarns between the needles to the front.
- With both yarns in front and holding A out of the way to the right, use B to purl the B stitch. Bring both yarns between the needles to the back.
Repeat from * to the last pair of stitches. With both yarns in front, purl the last two stitches together. Turn the work.
Continue Double Knitting
Repeat the same steps across the next row, slipping the first two stitches of a row as if to knit, knitting and purling stitch pairs, purling together the last two stitches of a row. Always knit or purl with the same color as the loop being worked!
As you progress, you will see that both sides of the fabric are in stockinette stitch. While working each stitch of a pair, you are creating first a knit stitch for the side facing you, then a purl stitch for the side facing away from you. This is how the two layers are created at the same time.
Bringing both yarns forward or backward in order to work just one may seem awkward at first, but as you progress it will become intuitive.
To bind off, hold both strands of yarn as one and knit the first 2 stitches together.
Using the same color as the stitch, knit one stitch, bind off one stitch; using the same color as the stitch, purl one stitch, bind off one stitch.
Repeat until there are two stitches left. Using both strands of yarn, knit two together. Block as desired.