What exactly is double-knitting?

I keep hearing about double-knitted items, but I have no clue what that is. I found a Harry Potter bookmark I’m dying to try some day, but it says it’s double-knitted instead of being knitted in the round, and the directions don’t really make any sense to me. So I’m just wondering what it is so that I can get a basic idea. Here’s the pattern FYI.

Take a look at KnittingHelp’s video: http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/advanced-techniques

You’ll have to scroll down to find it.

This is a method of knitting on straight needles (though you can use circs) that makes both sides the same or reversible. It can be done with one color or two. You would cast on and k1, slip 1 all across, turn and do the same. Keep doing this every row, the knit st is the one you slipped the previous row, the slip st was knit on the row before. It makes a double thick item too, so can be used with thin yarn to make a heavier scarf, for instance.

Afternoon, Chixdilla

Lucy Neatby also demonstrates a technique on her Double Knitting Delight dvd were you create sealed tubular fabric on one or both ends. I have used this technique to make quick hats for the Save the Children charity.

Here are two Lucy links:


Thanks, guys!

Suzeeq, your explanation makes it sound so simple! Can’t wait to try that bookmark!

It is pretty easy, you just have to remember to keep the yarn in back when you slip the st, and to slip it purlwise. After 3 or 4 rows you’ll see that it forms a little pocket joined at the bottom.

As mentioned above, double knitting is a method of making a two-sided reversible fabric. It usually involves two colors and creates reverse images on either side of the fabric.

If you keep the two sides as two solid colors (i.e. no image/design on it) then you will end up with two layers of fabric that can be pulled away from each other, thus allowing you to turn the fabric inside out if one end is left open (like a pillow case).
If you create a design/image in the knitting then the two sides will become interlocked and will not be able to be pulled apart or turned inside out from the end. Called interlocked or Jacquard double knitting.

While double knitting usually uses two colors, it is possible to do it with more.
It is also possible to create non-reversible/two-pattern double knitting. That is double knitting with two different images on the two sides, rather than reverse images.
Or, as with your bookmark, you can creat identical images on each side of the knitting.

The technique to which Suzeeq eluded is referred to as the slip-stitch technique.

Double knitting can also be accomplished through the alternating stitch technique.

My first attempt was a double knit headband. It’s too large, but it was fun. Here’s a double knit photo tutorial.

The method used in the Harry Potter bookmark and as referred to by Susie and by Katrina is also known as tubular double-knitting. I have made a lot of things using that method, mainly phone/ipod/camera/anything else vaguely that shape and absolutely love it.

Katrina, you mention using the method for knitting hats. Was that the kind referred to above or the reversible variety? I made a couple of double-knit hats, but both were adapted from other patterns to the tubular double-knit style and I ended up with the ladder effect. Did you have that problem also and if so how did you rectify it?

Laura, now that you know the basic pattern, you can make lots of those patterns in different colours. Have fun!