Saturday, February 15, 2020

Double-Knitting Adventures - The Chess Set - Bishops and Rooks


“Bishops and Rooks" is the fourth pattern release from the Chess Set of double-knitting patterns.

You can knit hot pads or coasters with these patterns, or you can use the charts to embellish larger projects.

Other patterns in the Chess Set:  


Size estimates for some suggested yarns and needle sizes:
  • worsted-weight yarn (one skein each in dark and light),
at a gauge of 21 stitches and 30 rows in 4 inches
(about 5.25 st/in and about 7.5 rows/in),
with U.S. size 3 (3.25 mm) or 4 (3.50 mm) needles
will produce a hot pad measuring about 6 ¼ inches square.
suggested yarns –
Hobby Lobby “I Love this Cotton” (100% Cotton)
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (100% Wool)
  • fingering-weight yarn (one skein each in dark and light),
at a gauge of 30 stitches and 38 rows in 4 inches
(about 7.5 st/in and 9.5 rows/in),
with U.S. size 0 (2.00 mm) or 1 (2.25 mm) needles
will produce a coaster measuring about 4 ½ inches square.
suggested yarn –
Cascade Heritage (75% Wool, 25% Nylon)

Choose 100% cotton or wool yarns to make your Chess Set squares heat-resistant and moisture-absorbing. 

Knitters have many techniques for casting on, binding off, and finishing edges in double-knitting. The Double-Knitting Group on Ravelry is a helpful resource of ideas.

My worsted-weight samples, pictured to the left and below, used Sarah E. White’s “Two Color Cast-on for Double-Knitting,”  and Sockmatician’s “Slip-Stitch Edges for Double-Knitting.”

I like combination knitting to help achieve even double-knitting tension. Ellen, “The Chilly Dog,” has a fantastic article and video on combination knitting that explains why you would want to use the technique and shows how to do combination knitting for both English-style and continental-style knitters.


I used a simple sewn bind-off for these samples – instructions follow: 

For Row 47 (not shown on the charts) you will be knitting the front and back layers together. You start Row 47 with 33 dark/light pairs (33 double stitches), then knit a dark stitch and light stitch together (k2tog) across, so that you end Row 47 with 33 single stitches.

To finish binding off, use Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn Bind-off, as described at the end of Knitty’s  Summer 2006  “Techniques with Theresa” feature, on binding off in knitting.

Complete your project by hiding yarn ends in between the front and back layers. For Chess Set squares in kitchen cottons, be sure to treat for color fastness

Block as appropriate for your yarn, shaping your hot pad or coaster into a square or nearly-square shape.

This "Bishops and Rooks - Shields of the Realm" double-knitting pattern is available as a pdf for immediate download. The pattern includes written instructions, links to tutorials, and separate front and back charts for knitting the King and Queen (four charts are included in the pattern). You may use the pattern to knit for yourself, for gifts, or for charity. If you sell items made from my pattern, please credit Janet Bailey Designs. You may not sell the pattern itself, or give it away. Thank you for supporting my designs!


Instant pdf download on Ravelry.
Instant pdf download on Etsy.

I hope you enjoy knitting and using your "Bishops and Rooks" and I would love to see your project photos on Ravelry!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Double-Knitting Adventures - The Chess Set - Kings and Queens


“Kings and Queens” is the third pattern release from the Chess Set of double-knitting patterns.

You can knit hot pads or coasters with these patterns, or you can use the charts to embellish larger projects.

Other patterns in the Chess Set:  
  • “Bishops and Rooks – Shields of the Realm”


Size estimates for some suggested yarns and needle sizes:
  • worsted-weight yarn (one skein each in dark and light),
at a gauge of 21 stitches and 30 rows in 4 inches
(about 5.25 st/in and about 7.5 rows/in),
with U.S. size 3 (3.25 mm) or 4 (3.50 mm) needles
will produce a hot pad measuring about 6 ¼ inches square.
suggested yarns –
Hobby Lobby “I Love this Cotton” (100% Cotton)
Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (100% Wool)
  • fingering-weight yarn (one skein each in dark and light),
at a gauge of 30 stitches and 38 rows in 4 inches
(about 7.5 st/in and 9.5 rows/in),
with U.S. size 0 (2.00 mm) or 1 (2.25 mm) needles
will produce a coaster measuring about 4 ½ inches square.
suggested yarn –
Cascade Heritage (75% Wool, 25% Nylon)

Choose 100% cotton or wool yarns to make your Chess Set squares heat-resistant and moisture-absorbing. 


Knitters have many techniques for casting on, binding off, and finishing edges in double-knitting. The Double-Knitting Group on Ravelry is a helpful resource of ideas.
My worsted-weight samples, pictured to the left and below, used Sarah E. White’s “Two Color Cast-on for Double-Knitting,”  and Sockmatician’s “Slip-Stitch Edges for Double-Knitting.”
I like combination knitting to help achieve even double-knitting tension. Ellen, “The Chilly Dog,” has a fantastic article and video on combination knitting that explains why you would want to use the technique and shows how to do combination knitting for both English-style and continental-style knitters.

I used a simple sewn bind-off for these samples – instructions follow:

For Row 47 (not shown on the charts) you will be knitting the front and back layers together. You start Row 47 with 33 dark/light pairs (33 double stitches), then knit a dark stitch and light stitch together (k2tog) across, so that you end Row 47 with 33 single stitches.

To finish binding off, use Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn Bind-off, as described at the end of Knitty’s  Summer 2006  “Techniques with Theresa” feature, on binding off in knitting.

Complete your project by hiding yarn ends in between the front and back layers. For Chess Set squares in kitchen cottons, be sure to treat for color fastness

Block as appropriate for your yarn, shaping your hot pad or coaster into a square or nearly-square shape.

This "Kings and Queens – The Royal Couples" double-knitting pattern is available as a pdf for immediate download. The pattern includes written instructions, links to tutorials, and separate front and back charts for knitting the King and Queen (four charts are included in the pattern). You may use the pattern to knit for yourself, for gifts, or for charity. If you sell items made from my pattern, please credit Janet Bailey Designs. You may not sell the pattern itself, or give it away. Thank you for supporting my designs!


Instant pdf download on Ravelry.
Instant pdf download on Etsy.

I hope you enjoy knitting and using your "Kings and Queens" and I would love to see your project photos on Ravelry!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Learning New Ways - Distitch Ties

My copy of Assia Brill's Distitch: A New Knitting Concept arrived on Monday and I love it! It's full of interesting techniques, beautiful pictures, and inspiring projects. It's a great addition to my needlework library.


Assia Brill builds her free Distitch Edge Coaster and Distitch Edge Scarf patterns with ways to incorporate distitch techniques into the body of the knitting, either as the whole cloth or as a reinforcement. I want to try the sock pattern, with its distitch heel and toe.
I hope to try the brioche patterns, too. I especially like how Assia Brill includes careful explanations for how to correct errors, something I’ve found difficult in past brioche projects.
I'm making distitch chains today to get practice for the two-color distitch cast-on, bind-off, and selvedges I'll be using to make four matching sides for double-knitting Assia’s Perfect Edge Coasters.

These distitch chains are taking the place of the 3-stitch i-cord ties or crocheted cords Elaine Fitzpatrick suggests for her Dog E. Dog baby bib pattern.  The crocheted cords Elaine makes are about the same width as a 3-stitch i-cord. She describes the process she uses to make these attractive, sturdy chains on her blog, Down Cloverlainehere, noting that crocheting the chains, and slip-stitching back to make them sturdy, is much faster than knitting i-cord.

Here is my Bunny Bib with its distitch ties. 

I love learning new ways!


















My site occasionally uses affiliate links to help support my content and designs.



Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Double-Knitting Adventures - The Blue Bunny Lovey

Ok, I admit it. I love patterns with short-rows. The way they shape knitting into curves just seems miraculous to me. And it's no surprise that I'm crazy for double-knitting...

...so today I was looking for a lovey pattern to knit for a baby shower, and what did I find?

A bunny lovey with short-row ears and a double-knitted face! Oh, my!

The Bunny Blanket Buddy is a free pattern from Lion Brand yarns (here is the Ravelry pattern page). I knitted one in an afternoon and called it Blue Bunny Lovey.

It's garter-stitch squishy, with floppy ears, and arms with little knots for paws. The face is in reverse-stockinette, created with slip-stitch double-knitting (also called tubular knitting).

I still need to embroider on the eyes, nose, and mouth - a nice safety feature for a baby's toy.

Many thanks to the Lion Brand Design Team for a great pattern with just enough challenge to make it fun.

Double-Knitting Adventures: New Skills

It's time to add some new skills to the double-knitting toolbox!

Double-knitting in-the-round will be useful for hats, cowls, socks, and mittens. Decreasing (and increasing in double-knitting will let me make shaped garments.

My Ravelry Dishcloth Sistas group moderator gifted a pattern as a prize for our December Challenge, and I chose Lindsay Marie's Reversible Snowflake Hat.

It's been a fun pattern so far, and easy to understand. Here is my work-in-progress:

I am finding double-knitting in-the-round to be actually easier than flat double-knitting because I only need one chart. Usually I have to make a second chart for the back because I get confused when knitting the back side while reading the front-side chart.

Updates to follow!

Update 2/15/2020 - I'm late to post this update - I actually finished the hat on 1/13/2020, and I've cast on for another Lindsay Marie double-knit hat in fingering-weight yarn!

Here are some pics from the finished hat:





Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Double-Knitting Adventures - Iguana Iguana

Iguana Iguana started with a cute textured-knitting pattern, Spülirätsel Leguanby Mamafri on Ravelry.

It seems there used to be a group called "Creawelten" (I think this translates as "creative worlds") where members shared knitting patterns. Mamafri seems to have been a leader of this group and she shared "mystery patterns" which gave instructions day-by-day for knitting project that would reveal themselves little by little. Members could guess what the knitted image would be, having fun with guesses that were more, or less, close to the mark.




Sadly, the group seems no longer to be active. Still I think it honors designers to keep their ideas alive by making new projects.


Mamafri's Spülirätsel Leguan is represented by three textured-knitting projects in Ravelry and I love them all. 

Some of Mamafri's other designs are in double-knitting, so I decided to chart double-knitted version of a Leguan (Iguana). 








It was a fun design to knit and I learned a lot from working with the iguana image about positive and negative space in two-color double-knitting.

I hope one day some Creawelten group members decide to curate Mamafri's design collection so knitters continue to make her patterns!





Double-Knitting Adventures - 2020 and Non-reversible Double-Knitting


I love double-knitting, but double-knitting words or numbers that can be read from both sides was a challenge that seemed far in my future until I read a discussion about reading charts in the Ravelry Double-Knitting Group.

I had just finished this "Skog" hot pad project using two charts, one for the back and one for the front. The two layers are knitted at the same time so that when a stitch is red on this side, the reverse-side stitch is gold, and the layers interlock where the colors change.

The discussion was about why reading charts can be difficult.


I have to make my own charts because most patterns only provide a single chart, with the knitting read from right to left for the front, and from left to right for the back. 

I was constantly getting confused, trying to sort out left-right, back-front, dark-light. Having two charts let me focus on holding my yarns and getting even tension instead of on reading and interpreting a single chart.

With two charts, I know, if I knit a dark stitch for the front, I next purl a light stitch for the back. That doesn't work for for a chart like 2020 because knitting a dark stitch on the front isn't always followed by purling a light stitch for the back. 

Here are the charts I made for 2020. Gray means dark on the front a light on the back, and white means light on the front and dark on the back as in normal double-knitting. 



Gold means that both the front and back stitches are light. Blue means that both the front and back stitches are dark.

It was fun figuring out how to use Excel to make the charts. It turned out to be an easy process once I understood how to set up Excel's "conditional formatting."
I still had my two charts, one for the front and one for the back, so that I could read my knitting from right to left as usual.

The proof would come if I could knit up what I charted...


By the time I reached the halfway point, I knew my charts were working but I still have a long way to go on my tension. Where the color is the same on back and front, the unused color is carried inside the two layers. It looks like I will need to put more tension on the unused yarn so that it does not show in between the opposite color stitches.



Here is the front side of "2020 Happy Double-Knitting New Year!"


My Ravelry project notes are here.









Here you can see that 2020 reads correctly on both sides - not a reverse image - this is a "non-reversible image."


And here is the back side.

This was a rewarding project. I learned a lot and hope to improve more as the new year unfolds!