Double knitting is a very easy technique to master, even though is sounds difficult and looks like magic. You use two straight needles to knit back and forth, but you end up with a tube of knitting. It’s a great technique to make a double thick fabric for a yoga mat or rug, and it’s also a cool way to make a pillow, hat, or bag. I used the technique in the condom amulets because I didn’t want to use double-pointed needles for such a small project and I was too lazy to sew seams.

1. Cast on an even number of stitches.
2. Work every row as follows: *Knit 1 st, slip 1 st as if to purl with yarn in front. Rep from * to end of row. Turn.

That’s it! Every two rows across makes one round of knitting. You are basically knitting half of the stitches on each pass. Be very careful to put the yarn in front when you slip the stitches, or you won’t have an open tube. The yarn has to be in between the two layers of fabric when you slip the stitches.

I bet you thought this would be harder, didn’t you?

If you lose count, it’s very easy to find your place if you’re using plain yarn (don’t try this technique with furry yarn until you practice on smooth wool or cotton first).

Lesson: Double Knitting 1

Knit the first stitch and the stitches that look like Vs. These are the knits on the RS of the fabric.

Lesson: Double Knitting 2
Double Knitting Slip

Slip the 2nd stitch and the stitches that look like bumps. These stitches are hidden between the knit stitches after the first couple of rows:

Lesson: Double Knitting 3
Double Bind Off

3. To cast off:

If you want a double thick layer of fabric that doesn’t open on the end:

  • Bind off normally.

If you want an open tube for a hat or a bag or for a pillow that you’ll stuff:

  • Either slip the front sts to one double-pointed needle and the back sts to a second, or just pull the needle out and rearrange the stitches so the front stitches are on one needle and the back sts on a second.
  • Using a thrid needle, bind off the sts on the front needle, turn.
  • Bind off the sts on the back needle.


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