March 26, 2013

Double Knitting Unraveled

Over the weekend, since my newly acquired respiratory misery (aka the cold Honey passed on to me) had me feeling like doing nothing but being still, I took advantage of the gloomy weather and my gloomy condition to watch and to swatch the double knitting Craftsy class that Honey bought me for my birthday in January. Despite the awkwardness in front of the camera of the presenter, the whole process was pretty darned simple and I whipped out a swatch in no time. I even figured out how to troubleshoot the few stitches that were the wrong color for the pattern while I waited for the video to buffer (that's one issue I always have with Craftsy classes, the inadvertent buffering every 8 minutes or so).

But here's the thing that confused me, and I am here to tell you that it doesn't have to be so confusing: the stupid chart. Once you understand that each box represents 2 stitches, then you should be good to go. But for this class and its charts, there is no key. There are no knitting symbols. There's just an elementary shaded graph, and if you lose track of which color to switch from purl stitch to knit stitch, well you are up a creek. So here's what I would suggest if you are new to double knitting: grab a coloured pencil and color in your wrong-side boxes. That way you can see that on the wrong side you are working in reverse of the right side pattern and your brains don't get scrambled, even if it looks like the chart does.The chart below is "fixed" so that I can follow the color changes on paper instead of in my head, and it does make the chart, which turns out to be that cute little swatch, look a bit wonky, but it was a snap to knit with. 

Here's another trick. If you accidentally unravel too many stitches when you pull out your slip knot because those last 2 stitches before the slip knit are just slipped and not worked with the rest of the first row, just take the tail, remake your long-tail V, and cast on again whatever you dropped. No point in ripping out the row and casting on again.

And now that my internet connectivity--or should I say lack thereof--is restored despite 4 days of no internet and a string of very technologically challenged outsourced-to-India "technical support" agents (and that's in quotes because they are, hypothetically speaking, capable of providing tech support but are not actually able to provide it), I will be showing off 5 new Rocket Sock colorways tomorrow, so check back tomorrow.  Same bat time, same bat channel.

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