Thursday, May 10, 2007

Scandinavian 2 yarn, Single Color Double Knitting.

Which is the winning combination?

The finished 9 Patch from earlier this week.

Or this lightly interlocked diamond?
My favorite is the diamond, but look again at the tic tac toe potholder-- who won? X's or O's?

The last type of knitting that I have heard called double knitting is Twinned or Scandinavian Double knitting.

Is very similar to Fair Isle knitting, but it is done in a single color. Traditionally the two yarns are from one ball, but there really is no reason to do it that way--and several reason not to!

This sort of knitting is know as tv√•√§ndsstickning in Swedish and tvebandsstrikking in Norwegian -- both meaning "two-end knitting”.

I first learned about it reading about of Roald Amundsen, the arctic explorer. In one of his diaries, he writes a thank you to his mother, who made (in the translation, I read) ’double knit mittens’ for every member of his team.
Almost certainly that is a mistaken translation by someone unfamiliar with knitting--and his mother most likely knit tvebandsstrikking mittens. (Interesting isn’t it, how when obessesed with a topic (like knitting) we can remember obscure details like this? I am sure I read the biography when I was in my teens, and here, many years later, I still remember it.)

This is partly because I was intrigued by the idea of double knitting as I read the passage, and started to learn about then!--only what I learned wasn't twinned knitting, but double knitting.

I didn’t learn about tvebandsstrikking till I was much older! It seem unlikely Mrs. Amundsen went to the trouble of making reversible mittens, but very likely she worked in the well known Norwegian style, to make warm, durable mittens.

You can cast on various methods, but a two-color braided cast on, is an excellent, if non-traditional cast on.
When knitting, alternate yarns, working each stitch, with a different yarn.twisting the yarn between the stitches.

The yarn is neatly carried on the back and creates a braid like fabric, familiar to anyone who has done Fair Isle/Latvian braids in knitting..
To do Scandinavian 2 yarn/2 end double knitting--start the work with 2 balls of yarn, or the outer and center yarn from a center pull ball.

Alternately knit using ball 1,(outer) then ball 2 (inner) for each stitch. The yarn, is carried on the back of the work, and always twisted in the same direction in each row of the work. At the end of row, turn work and twist in the opposite direction, undoing all the twists you created in the first row. If working with an even number of stitches, you’ll end the row with ball 2/inner, and start row 2 with Ball 1. This creates an interlocking mesh stitch. If a single stitch breaks the work is less likely to have a 'run' because the stitches above and below and to either side, have been worked with a different yarn. This mesh make the knitting run resistant.

Most often, the front is a simple stocking knit in appearance.
The twisted strand on the back create smooth rows of horizontal braids, that looks almost like a crepe. Worked in fine wool, the strands will tend to felt or full with wear, and over time become a single fabric.

Like Jacquard Double knitting, each stitch is isolated from the next, and a broken thread are much less likely to run, so any holes or worn spots remain small. The crossed yarn in the back make this style of knitting very warm, and finally, the process also give the knitting a back padding. Once mastered, you realize you can knit almost any sweater or other garment that is mostly stocking knit, using the Scandinavian double knitting method, for warm durable outerwear.

But even if you live in a tropical climate, Scandinavian double knitting has its uses; Scandinavian double knitting is excellent for heel flaps on socks. Whether it is worked with two strands of the same color, or with two colors for decorative heel, the padding make the heel more comfortable, and makes the heel run and hole resistant-- a wonderful bonus after you have invested so much time in knitting socks! I use this technique often in toes and heel flap, both for durability and decoration.

Twinned knitting is also excellent for knit bags or other knitted items that need durability.

Thes many of these double-knitting techniques can be mixed with single knitting; for decorate effects, or to meet specific needs.

A simple child's jumper with a skirt of mixed stripes can blossom into a 2-toned jacquard bib, with a single yarn double knit shoulder strap.
The body of man's sweater can be worked in jacquard or Scandinavian double knit for warm and durability, with single knit sleeves. Or a jacquard double knit vest can be made into a reversible garment.
A Jacquard double knit baby blanket can reverse from mostly blue with small pink flowers, to mostly pink with small blue flowers as it moves from child to child.
Most women won't want the extra padding double knitting provides, for fashion articles, but if they actively engage in outdoor sports like skiing, or ice skating, that demand warm clothing, double knitting is option-even if you only use it for hats, scarves and mittens!
In the meanwhile, I am still engaged in using up my cotton.. I continue to knit potholders, experimenting with different patterns and effects.

And even repeat pattens that I particulary like.

To Part 8--The Momentary end to an Obsession--tally: 18 Double Knit Potholders


Anonymous said...

Very nice - thanks for the tutorial.

Rebecca Clayton said...

This is a marvelous series of tutorials! Thank you for taking the trouble to present so much detail, and to provide so many inspiring project photos. I hadn't done more than try some swatches of the simplest double knitting, but I see now that my collection of odd balls of cotton yarn is about to turn into pot holders.

Sarah Ditum said...

Fascinating tutorial. Thank-you for putting it together - and for the suggested uses you have for tvebandsstrikking. I will definitely be filing this information away for future use.

zippiknits.....sometimes said...

That is beautiful knitting, Troy, and thanks for the tutorial on it. Wowzer!

|chee-uh| said...

The diamonds are my favorite too.

Ali said...

I am intrigued to say the least. I will for sure be coming here to learn this type of knitting. Of course, I must first finish the 3 projects I have going now.

Thank you so much for taking the time to teach this to us.

Anonymous said...

I like the blue varigated diamond one - very cool!

Holly Heath Gallagher said...

WOW - such detail. Thank you so much. I am just beginning to try and jump out of my knit/purl comfort zone and this really answered my questions. Thanks for sharing. I am going to knit and felt my first cowboy hat and this, according to the pattern author, is very important to the final look of the hat.