How to Double Knit: Dual Sided Runestone Coasters

Introduction: How to Double Knit: Dual Sided Runestone Coasters

About: I like to make things out of other things. If it’s for money I am hyper detail oriented. If it’s for me, then I only care about function. Or experimental value.

Bienvenue, and please enjoy my extremely overthought and most definitely over-explained instructable on double-knitting, inspired by and written for the knitting and crochet speed challenge in January 2022.

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I like double knitting so much. It’s so fun!

For me, it is simultaneously mindless and challenging, and really works well with my ADHD. :)

Some other reasons I love double knitting:

  • It is twice as warm due to being twice as thick.
  • Soooo squishy!!!
  • It doesn’t roll like standard knit fabric does, so you don’t have to worry about edge stitches or other ways of making the sides flat.
  • Because of the switching back and forth of the 2 colors of yarn, your pattern is mirrored on the other side in opposite colors which is just so mentally stimulating. (See the important note about patterns later on.)

Anyway, these coasters were my idea of something cool and useful in multiple ways, but also fast for I am an impatient soul.

Plus also I am *definitely* adding this to my resume.

The end.

… I mean… of the introduction. Actually the actual project is going to start now.

The beginning!

Supplies

- 2 colors worsted weight cotton yarn, (I used some from my stash so I don’t know the manufacturer, make or model, sorry fam.)

- Size 9 knitting needles (I used a Chiaogoo 26”circular needle, but straight needles will work just as well.)

- scissors or other cutting tool (not your teeth, please)

- yarn needle if you want to sew in the yarn tails (I didn’t because I am lazy and also cotton tends to not unravel in my experience but you do you, boo.)

- Printed version of your pattern if preferred. I based my pattern on this version of the gridded runes, and added stitches to either side of the rune to equal the number of stitches I had (15 K/P pairs): https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/small-elder-futhark-rune-chart

Step 1: Double Knitting: the Detailed Written Out Explanation

1) Double knit fabric is created the same way as stockinette fabric, (knit the knits and purl the purls), but you are essentially knitting both sides in stockinette, at the same time, in one piece. No really!

2) Regular ol’ double knitting shows the front/smooth/right side of a piece of knitted fabric on *both* sides of the fabric. You do this by knitting all the stitches of the first color, and purling all the stitches of the second color, alternating knits and purls.

So after a row is finished, your needle looks like this:

<=PKPKPKPK==]

where all the P (purl) stitches are black and all the K (knit) stitches are white.

3) You can track where you are in a pattern by counting the stitches of one color, and automatically skipping the next stitch of the opposite color.

Every knit will have an opposite color purl, no matter what.

***Think of them as soulmates. They will always be next to each other. Each with the other, K and P, opposite colors but always counted together as one. *soulful gesture* ***

For example, In the most basic pattern, the stitches on every side repeat knit, purl, knit, purl, over and over. The only thing that changes is the color of yarn used in each stitch.

On one side the knits are black and the purls are white. BWBWBW = KPKPKP

On the other side it is the opposite, the knits are white, and the purls are black. WBWBWB = KPKPKP

Don’t worry it’ll make sense once you get going.

Trust your pattern and yourself. It’s actually way less complicated than it seems, but it’s so extremely easy to get overwhelmed and confused and frustrated. I like to make notes in my printed pattern so as to keep my brain straight. But usually after the first couple times I double check myself, I realize I know what I’m doing and I can see the pattern starting to make sense.

Oh, about that. The pattern, I mean.

You should definitely note: If you use any patterns that are meant to be viewed in one direction only, like certain letters, numbers, etc., this method of knitting will reverse the image *exactly*, like if you were to see it in a mirror. Don’t get mad at me if you go to make a thing and the G is backwards on the opposite side. You should have read all the instructions. Look up at the pictures of the first two coasters I did so you can see what I mean. (This is the important note I was talking about. It’s over now. As you were.)

Step 2: Casting on (Aka: Getting the Yarn on the Needle)

*Researches double knitting cast-ons for this Instructable, promptly gets overwhelmed, closes browser*

So here’s how *I* have always done this.

  1. Holding both colors of yarn at the same time, measure out 3x the width of the thing you are making. (I just estimated a coaster about 4” wide or so, and visualized 4”, then used that to measure 4”, then another 4” for a total of 12” of yarn. I did not measure to verify.)
  2. Make a slip knot in both strands of yarn. Put the loops on the needle and tighten them. It doesn’t matter which goes first unless you want them all to match, but I’m into chaos so I didn’t do that. That being said, for my example white went first so it looked like this:
  3. <===B=W====| (See Picture 1)
  4. Starting with the loop furthest away from the tip of the needle, use the slingshot cast on to make another loop of that color. (White)
  5. <==W=B=W====|
  6. Now bring the yarn from the opposite color forward and around the front of the yarn you just used. Cast on another stitch in this color. (Black)
  7. <=B=W=B=W====|

Continue on in this fashion until you have a total of 30 stitches. Or however many you want for your thing. Mine ended up being 15 stitches wide so there are 15 black and 15 white stitches. Trust me it’ll make sense in a bit.

Basically you want the what looks very much like a monarch butterfly caterpillar, with an equal number of alternating cast on stitches. You will know if you did it right because of the alternating black and white stripes, and the adorable caterpillar feet on the bottom of the row. (If you want to get fancy this is called the **selvedge edge, but I like the caterpillar idea better.)

Step 3: Knitting the First 4 Rows

If you need instructions on how to knit and purl, I bet there’s an Instructable for that. If not maybe I'll make one :) Anyway.

Row 1) Knit the white stitches, and purl the black stitches bringing both strands of yarn forward for the purls and back to the back for the knits. (Pic 1)

For the coaster you should have 30 stitches on your needle alternating black and white, so you would knit the knits in one color, and purl the purls in the opposite color.

<==PKPKPK==| is the same as <==BWBWBW==|

At the end of the row, switch your needles to the opposite hands, like in regular knitting.

Row 2) Do the exact same stitch pattern, but switch the colors. Meaning, knit the black stitches, and purl the white stitches. Don’t forget to bring BOTH colors of yarn over the needle with each stitch. (Pic 2)

This time <==PKPKPK==| is the same as <==WBWBWB==|

Row 3) Repeat Row 1. (Pic 3)

Row 4) Repeat Row 2. (Pic 4)

You should now have a rectangle of fabric that is white on one side and black on the other. All the stitches on the needle should still alternate black and white. (Pic 5)

Step 4: How to Read the Pattern

  • Start at the bottom right corner. (The red star.)
  • Each square represents 1 pair of K/P stitches.
  • Read from Right to Left on odd rows.
  • Read from Left to Right on even rows.
  • Don’t think of the squares as specific colors, but instead of as an “on/off” switch.
  • The marked squares symbolize which K/P pairs are “on” or “off” for that row.
  • (They will have the opposite color on the other side of the fabric.)

Step 5: Knitting the Pattern

Row 5) Following the pattern, continue to knit the knits and purl the opposite purls, bringing both colors of yarn over the needle after each stitch. When you come to a marked square on the pattern, knit that knit stitch with the opposite color of itself. Then purl the following purl stitch with *it’s* opposite color. Both the knit stitch and the purl stitch make up that *one* marked square.

In the example, I’ve knitted a white knit stitch with black yarn followed by purling a black purl stitch with white yarn.

<==BWBWWBBWBW==|

Remember, all the knit stitches are knitted and all the purls are purled. The alternate color in the pattern simply signals a flip in yarn colors.

Row 6) Do the same thing as Row 5, except with the colors switched. On the printed pattern, you will go one row up and this time start at the left most square and work to the right. (The blue star.)

Step 6: Recognizing and Fixing Mistakes

Optimally, you will notice you made a mistake right away, as shown in the first picture. In this case, the easiest thing to do would be to tink back, (that’s knit backwards, essentially doing the knitting process in reverse), fix the stitch, and continue on as usual, saving both time, effort, and a good amount of stress.

And then, sometimes, you don’t recognize a mistake until you are done with the pattern part of the thing, and are about to put it in your Instructable. Oh yes. Then you will see it, glaring at you saucily, all out in the open, without a bit of shame or remorse. Le sigh.

I mean... I made this mistake on purpose, specifically to document how to fix it. Because I'm THOROUGH.

Anyway. Do not despair, you definitely don’t have to rip out all that work. The fix is a bit stressful and fiddly, but I promise when you. Get it right it is THE BEST feeling ever. Trust me.

Once you figure out where the mistake is (you’ll notice I made the same mistake on both sides of the thing so I had to fix both sides), here’s what you do.

  1. Slip all the stitches *after* the stitch at the top of the messed up row onto the opposite needle.
  2. Unravel the stitches in this column until you get to the stitch BELOW the incorrect stitch.
  3. Starting with this stitch, use the horizontal strands behind each loose stitch to create a new knit stitch.
  4. Once you’ve determined all the stitches are correct, stretch the whole thing vertically to see it all come back to normal.

Repeat with the opposite stitch if needed.

Other issues:

  • Stitches are too loose/tight (see 2nd to last picture)
  • Easy fix: adjust your tension appropriately. ;)
  • There is a hole or loose/unattached spot between sides (see last picture)
  • This is caused by either not bringing both strands over/under or,
  • Something else that I haven’t figured out yet but will update once I do.

Step 7: Knitting the Last 4 Rows

Repeat Rows 1-4

(So you don’t have to scroll back, I’m going to copy/paste the first four rows right here. Just keep in mind if you end up on an opposite color row, make sure you match the colors correctly.)

Row 1) Knit the white stitches, and purl the black stitches bringing both strands of yarn forward for the purls and back to the back for the knits.

Row 2) Do the exact same stitch pattern, but switch the colors. Meaning, knit the black stitches, and purl the white stitches.

Row 3) Repeat Row 1.

Row 4) Repeat Row 2.

Step 8: Binding Off

  1. Knit and purl the first set of stitches with their correct colors. (2 stitches on the right needle)
  2. Then pull the purl stitch through the knit stitch. (1 stitch on the right needle)
  3. Work the next stitch from the left needle. That is, knit a knit or purl a purl. (2 stitches on the right needle)
  4. Pull it through the remaining stitch on the right needle. (1 stitch in the right needle)
  5. Continue in this fashion until there is one stitch left.
  6. Cut the remaining yarn, leaving a tail for each strand.
  7. Pull the tails through the last stitch.

The last picture in this step shows the finished bound off edge.

You can see the difference in stitches, showing a looser bind off on the left, and a tighter bind off on the right.

Step 9: Extremely Simplified Pattern for a Double Knit Coaster

This is for those that might want a really, REALLY simple version of the full knitting pattern.

CO 15 K/P sets of stitches alternating colors between stitches. (30 stitches total)

Rows 1-4: K1, P1 across with same colors.

Rows 5-15: K1, P1 across. Follow pattern for color changes.

Rows 16-20: Repeat Rows 1-4.

Bind off all stitches.

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    2 Comments

    0
    pianogirl53
    pianogirl53

    1 day ago

    Thank you for this tutorial!

    0
    DontKnitAngry
    DontKnitAngry

    Reply 12 hours ago

    Yay you’re welcome! 🥰