Love for Love; On Learning Double Knitting

We’re loving all the Love that the Love Actually is All Around cowl is getting.

What’s great about this is seeing so many knitters fall in love with the design and trying something a little outside their comfort level to make it happen: double knitting.

Kattak’s version

I adore the “non-traditional” natural colors!

RichelleCK’s “I Actually Love Grasshoppers”, also in a great color combo. Richelle says that she’s never tried double knitting before, and although she feels it might have gone better, she learned tons in the process.

I asked her about the project, and she said:

Double-knitting was on my “learn it” list for a long time, but nothing inspired me as much as this cowl did to actually jump in and give it a go. I’d recently taken a class in colorwork, since my tension there had been a problem area. In this class, I gained confidence in two-handed knitting (um, not purling). I think without that class, I may not have even attempted this cowl – and the cowl is what made me jump to learning a continental purl (which I don’t care for much, but can actually do if I have to now!). I’m sure my tension will get better with practice, but I’ll have to find another pattern I want this badly to give it another go!

A perfect example of complementary colors – color theory ahoy!

DianneK’s chocolate cherry version is just delicious


When I asked DianneK about the project, she said

I was always afraid of double knitting. I love this pattern and learned specifically for this. I had fun making this and learned some fun new techniques. I started a second one already.

CraftySBS learned double knitting specifically because she adored the project.

Learning, in action!

If you’re intrigued by the project and want to learn more, the designer recommends a couple of resources…

The cast-on is a bit tricky, and this video has helped a lot of people.

And Space Cadet Creations Yarn is running a knit-along for it. There’s lot of helpful tips and discussions in the Ravelry forum.

If you’ve tried the cowl and love the technique, have a look at some of the other patterns we’ve published at Knitty for double knitting:

If you want to go further, there’s Kate’s War & Peace socks – two socks, knitted one inside the other, using the double knitting technique.

Not easy, but very very rewarding.

And if you want to explore even further, the designer Alisdair Post-Quinn is doing amazing work in this area. His book is called “Extreme Double Knitting” – and it’s breathtaking.

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5 thoughts on “Love for Love; On Learning Double Knitting

  1. Valerie

    The only thing that’s holding me back from trying this is that I can’t figure out how to join the stitches to work in the round after I cast on. Do you cast on an extra? Two extra, one of each color, and join front and back? The way I normally join things is to swap two stitches, one from each needle point, one stitch crossing the other, and that locks things. Can’t do that here, because that’ll mess up the colors. Won’t it?
    I’m confused.

  2. Rita Goshorn

    i used to double knit mitttens and hats for my kids backin the day, but never used multiple colors. now that i think about it after looking at your pix, it woul probably have been easier to work them with a pattern in two different colors.

  3. Sara J Bench

    I know that Valerie already saw my response but just to ahare with everyone:

    You can cast on one if each color then pass the knit over the knit and the purl over the purl. Or work the 2 knits together and then the two purls together.

    Before doing either of these, you could rearrange with the 2 knits together and the two purls together.

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