If you follow my blog you know how much I love color work. I think it’s an engaging yet relaxing knit, and so very very satisfying! Combining colors and patterns and watching them come to life is where it’s at for me! In saying all that I remember a point in my knitting life where I would never dream of attempting to knit a fairisle style sweater. I found them too intimidating. I guess the biggest factor was I had no one to help me along and at the time there wasn’t the good ol’ internet. (I have just aged myself)
I remember knitting a cardigan for my son when he was 2. He is now 23 (and once again I have just further aged myself). It had little ducks around the body of the sweater. And I was so excited because this cardigan pattern was knit in one color first and then the little ducks were double stitched on afterwards! I was able to knit a sweater that looked as though it was complicated with color work!
So if you are just getting into knitting garments or are new to knitting and would like to knit a basic pattern and spice it up with what looks to be more complicated than it is, then you have come to the right place! So let’s get started!
Once you have complete knitting your sweater, lay it out and size up where you want your design to be located. I wanted to make sure my design was lined up to be right in the center.
I used contrasting yarn and I made a square that contained the exact number of stitches that my chart had. This way I can follow the chart so much easier and I’m also certain my stitches maintain straight lines. I will also get a clear picture in my head as to where I have placed my design. In case you are wondering, I'm using Biscotte Yarns DK Pure in Salt & Pepper. I've has this in my stash for some time now waiting for the right project! I love DK Pure; I'm sure it had to have gotten its name because it is PURE delicious! And the Salt & Pepper color way is absolutely stunning!!
Top left photo: Looking at my chart, if I need to go in 6 and up 3 blocks from the outside edge then I can go in 6 and up 3 stitches from the guideline I made with my contrasting yarn. When you know which stitch you need to double stitch over, insert your tapestry needle from the back to the front in the stitch BELOW the stitch you are stitching over.
Top right photo: In order to follow the “V” that makes a stitch you will then insert your needle underneath the 2 legs of the stitch ABOVE the stitch you are stitching over.
Bottom left photo: You can see the new color yarn is almost complete
Bottom right photo: In order to complete the double stitch you will need to insert your tapestry needle into the stitch BELOW the stitch you are stitching over from front to back. This is the stitch you initially came up through in the top left photo.
As you can see in the photo above the first stitch has been complete. You want to be sure that you are not tugging the yarn too tight or leaving too much slack. Try to maintain the same stitch size as the stitches you’re knit. This way it will look as though you’ve knit the design as one with your sweater. Also tugging too tight on your yarn could cause unwanted puckering.
Repeat the steps until you reach the end of your row. As you can see in the photo above, to make the next stitch insert the tapestry needle into the stitch from the back to the front BELOW the stitch you are stitching over. Then underneath both legs of the stitch ABOVE the stitch you are stitching over and back into the stitch you first came up through. When you have finished the row, you will just go up to the next row and go across repeating the steps. You can work back and forth, there's no need to cut your yarn and go back to the beginning. Just follow the "V" stitches until your design is complete. And that's all that's to it!!
Here is my design after working a few rows. You would never be able to tell that there are stitches underneath my design. It's a pretty cool technique I think!
I also have a little video to show how to Double Stitch for those who like to see it in action! Do you like to Double Stitch designson your knits??