Double Knit Cap

To create a completely reversable hat, light purple hat

dark purple hat you will need:

Cast on 80 stitches on a set of double-pointed needles with yarnA. Close the circle and knit 7 rows (~1 inch) in stockinette. If you do not have a second set matching needles, put on a holder, or scrap yarn.

Using the second set of needles, pick up 80 stitches along the bottom of the project.

With yarnB, knit 7 rows in stockinette stitch. Stockinette will be on the outer side of your project (reverse stockinette on the inside). You will have a set of needles on either end of your project. Fold the project in half, so that both sets of needles are at the top with stockinette stitch on the inside and outside of the circle. This is possibly the most awkward part of the whole process. For my convenience, have the yarnA side showing (yarnB side is inside). Alternating stitches, combine both sets onto on set of needles. (yarnA stitch, yarnB stitch, yarnA stitch,...)

Initially, let's keep to straight rows, not changing color. This means that you will knit a stitch with yarnA onto the yarnA side, then purl a stitch with yarnB onto the yarnB side,... It is important to remember that you have two sets of knitting going on at the same time. I found it easiest to carry the yarnB in my right hand (purling) and yarnA in my left hand (knitting).

You will want to follow these steps:

So do a whole round this way. By the time you have completed a round you will be ready to do something else.

Something else:
Reverse the yarns and knit three rows. Use yarnA for purling. On the second row you will see something wonderful. You have a solid change in color. This will make you think that there is hope for the future of the world. You can call your friends and bore them with this exciting bit of news. Contact me. I will be sympathetic. Time for Something else: again. (In programming this is called a loop.) Yep. I mean:

Something else:
Reverse the yarns and knit three rows.

Now that you have it all mastered, lets play.

Alternate four stitches of each color, going back and forth. This will actually involve 16 stitches in a repeat (two blocks of four stitches, sideA, sideB) giving you alternating blocks of color on each side.

This will make you appreciate my making you knit those six rows. It can get confusing. If you have slogged your way through those first six rows, you will have a better understanding of what is happening. (''If this is purling, I should be working with yarnByarnB, no, I mean yarnA ...'') You will need to keep track of which side you are actually working on. The spiffy thing about this knitting, is that you don't have excess yarn being carried behind, screwing up the tension. And I haven't noticed trouble with ugly gaps when you change colors. Of course, thinking about correcting something four rows down will not brighten your day. Don't think about it. We don't make mistakes -- these are design elements.

After you have knit four rows, reverse the color order and knit four more rows. Repeat. (''Easy for her to say.'') If you keep it up, you can knit a circular checkerboard. You can knit anything. The possibilities are really interesting. Because you always have the color you want available, you can create any design you want (a flower in the middle of a solid background, a train working it's way around the rim, whatever). There is no carrying of yarn. A white triangle on a pink background reverses to a pink triangle on a white background. What fun. Really.

Things to remember:
Depending on what you are doing, you will not be able to go back and weave in the ends. Plan ahead. Weave them in as you go.

Finishing will not be as easy as turning your project inside out and knitting/binding off. It will work for sideA, but sideB presents some definite difficulties. Kitchner stitch will work.

Possibilities:
DoubleKnit works almost the same as doubleweave. The only place where the knitting interlocks is where you reverse the colors from front to back. You get channels that form if you shift back and forth (Bedford cord effect). With some effort (twisting the yarns) you should be able to create pockets that could be stuffed. If you took the above-mentioned pink triangle on a white background, you could stuff it with wool before you knit the point shut. If you were a perverse type, you should be able to get a trapunto-effect by twisting the yarns and then stuffing a shape.

As with doubleweave, we can have things being carried in the middle. (''I knew she would screw up the tension. I just knew it.'' ) You can knit a navy blue and white checked hat and have alternating yellow blocks. (Please remember the tension.) It would give you:

W B Y W B Y W B Y
on sideA and:
B Y W B Y W B Y W
on sideB. You just cannot use the same yarn for both sides (that wouldn't be doubleKnit). You should be able to have cables go back and forth between the sides.

Final Notes: If you are feeling pretty smug, how about knitting a pair of mittens with this technique. What about a pair of gloves? What about a pair of socks? Particularly with the socks, make sure that the colors switch back-and-forth to lock the two sides together.

Please let me know what parts of this were not clear.

If you have comments, please send email to: Rosemary Brock.

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