Saturday, October 22, 2011

Twice Knit Knitting

Double Shot of Caffeine Mug Rug (Instructions below)

Twice Knit Knitting is a type of Double Knitting.  I just recently came across this technique; it is briefly mentioned in The Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook.  I was immediately intrigued, and an amazon search turned up Twice-knit knitting, by Lee Gilchrist.  This is not a new book, however apparently not a technique that is widely used these days.  I only found one or two blog references in my search for information.  

I love it!  Below are just the very basics of Twice Knit Knitting.  There is a special cast on and bind off used for this technique.  I recommend ordering the book if you would like to learn a bit more about Twice Knit Knitting.  The book, as I said, is not new; the cast on and bind off are explained, along with the types of stitches created and there are a number of patterns.  Some of the pictures gave me a good chuckle :0)

In Twice Knit Knitting, you are working each stitch twice.  You might think this uses more yarn and time, but it does not.  The act of working each stitch twice interlocks the stitches so that they actually do not unravel!  You can use bigger needles and finer yarn for quick knits; the smaller the needle, the more dense your fabric will be.  A very dense fabric is great for pot holders or hot pads, garments should be knit with larger needles so the fabric will have some drape to it.  As with any knitting, swatching is the best way to find out if you like the way the fabric looks and feels using a particular yarn and needle size.

Double Knit On:
This is your cast on - you need two stitches to start
The book instructs you to begin with a slip knot, then using the knitted cast on method, cast on one more stitch.  I do not like slip knots - so I cast on two stitches using the long tail method.  

Then, to cast on additional stitches, you are going to do a 'modified' knitted cast on.  Always work with the first two stitches on the left needle.   
Begin with two stitches

Knit into both stitches to make the 3rd stitch
The third stitch before placing it on the left needle

To make the 4th stitch, you will again knit into the first two stitches on the left needle
Always work with the first two stitches on the left needle to make the next stitch

Double Front Knit:

To work a row of knit stitches, as with the cast on, you will always be working with the first two stitches on the left needle.  The big thing to remember now is that you do NOT want to drop both stitches from your left needle - you will only be dropping the first stitch.  Leave your second stitch on the left needle so you can work it again with the third stitch.  Remember, in Twice Knit Knitting, each stitch is worked twice!

The first double knit front stitch has been made.  The new stitch is on the right needle; you can see the loop of yarn between the needles - that is the first stitch from the left needle.  The second stitch remains on the left needle.

In this picture, you can see I have worked the first two stitches on the left needle and created a second stitch on the right needle.  The first stitch has not yet been dropped from the left needle.

I have now dropped the first stitch from the left needle - it is the loop of yarn between the needles

Continue working the next two stitches on the left needle, dropping only the first stitch each time until you come to the end of the row.
When you come to the last two stitches, work them together as normal, dropping the first stitch, and then simply knit the last stitch by itself.

Double Purl:
To work a row of purl stitches, you again will be purling the first two stitches on the left needle together, dropping only the first stitch from the left needle.

Making the Double Purl stitch
The newly made stitch on the right needle, before the first stitch has been dropped from the left needle            

Now the first stitch has been dropped from the left needle, and I am ready to now make the second double purl stitch

Binding Off for Twice Knit Knitting:
This works much the way a standard knitted bind off works, with the exception that you will always have 3 stitches on the right needle, and will be lifting the first stitch over 2, instead of 1.  So, work  three stitches (the bind off stitches are worked like double front knit stitches - knit the first two stitches from the left needle, drop the first stitch only, etc.), and then begin to bind off:
With three stitches on the right needle, I am ready to bind off my first stitch

Pick up the first stitch, pass it over  the second and third stitches

The first stitch has now been passed over the second and third.  Work another stitch from the left needle, then pass the first stitch on the right needle over the second and third.  Continue binding off in this manner until you reach the last three stitches.

This picture shows the last three stitches to be bound off.  Pass the first stitch over the second and third as normal

You will be left with only two stitches to bind off.  Simply pass the first stitch over the second, leaving you with one stitch on the right needle

Treat the last stitch as you would any final bind off stitch.  Cut the yarn, pull it through, and weave in your ends.

And there you have a tutorial on Twice Knit Knitting!  I do recommend purchasing the book; you will learn to do the Double Back Knit Stitch, along with the stitches created with this technique: Silhouette Stitch, Herringbone Stitch, Braid Stitch, and Graphic Stitch.  Apparently you don't even need to bind off if you don't want to, because the stitches won't unravel.  Also, you are supposed to be able to cut your finished piece as you would a regular piece of fabric.  I have not yet figured out how to do this, and don't see detailed instructions in the book.  I tested the cutting of fabric on a small piece, only to have it unravel!  So, while there is obviously a particular way this has to be done, I am not aware of it at this point.

If you would like to make yourself the Double Shot of Caffeine Mug Rug, here is the "pattern":

You will need either Sugar and Cream or Peaches and Creme Cotton yarn and US size 10.5 needles

Cast on 28 stitches
Work 4 Rows of Double Front Knit Stitches
Then work alternating rows of Double Front Knit and Double Purl for desired length (mine is 3.5 inches)
Next, work 4 more Rows of Double Front Knit Stitches
Bind off.  For the fringe, cut 4 inch pieces of yarn.  I used two strands in each of my cast on and bind off stitches, but you can use more strands and/or space them out along the edges to suit your taste.  Trim if you like, or leave the fringe wild and crazy!

Also, here is a video demonstrating the Double Knit On, Double Front Knit, Double Purl, and binding off.  Enjoy!!


  1. Cool! I'll have to add this to my ever-growing list of things to try. =) Your tutorial and pictures/video are very clear and make it all easy to understand. Thank you for all the time you clearly put into this post! You're the best!

  2. I love the way you teach, very easy to understand, slowly enough to see in detail and the stiches pretty nice...originals. Thank you!!!

  3. Hi, I am in search of the increase of this stitch or your other video of the similarly executed herringbone. I recall learning how to, but I don't know where. If it was you or in one of your videos, would you please direct me to it! I am in need of how to increase and decrease. I think it was a version of the herringbone, rather than this one...Perhaps it wasn't a video, but a pictorial or even text.
    Thank you so much for responding, in advance.

    1. I'm sorry I can't locate my book on this technique. If I find something I'll be sure to post.