I was whining a couple of weeks ago at Monday Night Knit in San Francisco about how loose and loopy my double-knit bath mat was looking. So John (Knit One Sip Two) told me about Fallingblox and his double-knitting group on Ravelry. What a revelation! I found out, for instance, that you can slip-stitch double-knit projects, like a Barbara Walker Mosaic, if you want to. I tried it for a couple of rows and my work really tightened up and the problem was solved. But after always knitting with two colors at once, having to do one at a time was frustrating. I realized that the difference between the two methods was that there was no twisting of the yarn with the slip stitch. On single-layer, color work, twisting or trapping the carried color is a good thing because it makes for shorter strandage on the wrong side. But with double knitting you don’t carry any yarn. So twisting the yarn just adds extra, unnecessary yarn to the stitch, yarn that has nowhere to go and nothing to do and just makes for big, sloppy gauge and occasionally very large and loopy stitches. Not a good look.
So anyway I figured out how to do it right with two colors at once and make it all snug and proper. The gauge shrank massively, though. So much so in fact, that the project became too narrow for what I wanted. So I had to frog it. And I’m glad I did. The second edition is going to be a little different and a lot better.
And just to be clear: if it weren’t for the women and men (Andy, Tom, Stan, John and Bill) of Monday Night Knit I would not be knitting. Period. They taught me how to do it and they continue to teach me. Every week. Over dinner. It’s kind of excellent. I’m the only new knitter in the group. Everyone else has been doing it for decades. Mastery and depth of knowledge all around. For me it’s like being at the Oxford of knitting. And other than the price of a drink or bite to eat, it’s completely free. Social knitting. Very amazing phenom.