Double your pleasure with a reversible knitted scarf

This week I’m knitting with Universal Yarn Wool Pop which is a blend of bamboo, superwash wool, and polymide that exudes a heathery sheen and subtle halo.

Yesterday, I made the Jora sweater in Silken, which turned out beautifully despite all the adjustments needed for the difference in gauge. Today I’m making a double knit scarf that’s completely reversible and shows off the two colors, Silken and Graphite in a lovely window pane plaid.

Light side of double knit swatch from Day 2.

I don’t have to be concerned with a predetermined gauge this time, as I’ve based this pattern on the gauge that I achieved while knitting my swatches on Day 2.

If you’re new to double knitting, you may have some apprehension, but don’t worry, it’s easier than you think. There are some lovely patterns available on Ravelry that have intricate designs using this technique. Anything from hats, scarves, detail on sweaters, cowls, and so forth. Today’s project is very basic and serves as a great introduction to double knitting.

finished measurements 59” x 6 ½”

materials

yarn

2 skeins Wool Pop – 1 Silken, 1 Graphite

needles

  • 1 US 7 [4.5mm] knitting needle
  • 1 US 7 [4.5mm] crochet hook and 1 smaller hook to fix errors (every knitter needs one of those in their toolkit)
  • 1 tapestry needle to sew in ends

Instructions

Before we get started, there are four basic rules you’ll need to remember when working on this project.

Rule 1: KNIT the knits, and PURL the purls. Knit the stitches facing you and purl the stitches in back. The color used on each stitch determines the pattern, not the type of stitch.

Rule 2: Carry both yarns. When you knit, both yarns are in back. When you purl, both yarns are in front.

Rule 3: Check your work often. Mistakes will happen (i.e., forgetting Rules 1 & 2), but are easily corrected if you catch them early. That’s why we need the extra crochet hook.

Rule 4: Always slip the first pair of stitches and knit the last pair together with both yarns.

Let’s get started with the Cast On.

There are many methods for casting on for double knitting, but one of the simplest and most effective for this project is the crochet cast on. There are a number of YouTube videos available that show this technique. For our project, we want the cast on edge to be identical in appearance to the slipped 1st stitch and cast off.

With both yarns held together, make a slip knot on the US 7 [4.5mm] crochet hook and wrap the yarns around the knitting needle and chain them through the hook. Repeat for one less than the required number of stitches. Then place the last paired stitch from the crochet hook onto the knitting needle. You end up with 33 pairs of stitches, or 66 stitches in total. You may need to adjust your stitches slightly to ensure they’re alternating in color.

Use the crochet cast on with both yarns and alternate the colors.

Now you’re ready to start. For the 1st row, we’re making a solid row with Dark on one side and Light on the other.

The Pattern

1st Solid Row:  Slip first pair of stitches together – always begin a row by slipping the first pair purlwise. Purl the light stitch with the light yarn while holding both yarns in front. (Rule 2) Move both yarns to the back and Knit the dark stitch with the dark yarn. Work across the row in this fashion until the last 2 stitches; knit the pair together with both yarns. (Rule 3) Turn work.

Believe it or not, the next row is the hardest; only because it’s not intuitive. Defy your inner self and remember Rule 1 – KNIT the knits and PURL the purls, the color determines the pattern.

1st Row – pattern set up.

Slip first pair.

*P1 with Dark, K1 with Light, (P1 with Light, K1 with Dark) 5 times, repeat from * until 4 stitches remaining; P1 with Dark, K1 with Light, then K the last pair together using both yarns. Turn work.

2nd Row

Sl 1st par, *P1 Light, K1 Dark, (P1 Dark, K1 Light) 5 times, repeat from * until 4 stitches remaining; P1 Light, K1 Dark, K the last pair together using both yarns.

Repeat Rows 1 & 2 twice more.

Row 7 – 2nd Solid Row

Sl 2, *P1 Dark, K1 Light, repeat from * until last pair; K the last pair together using both yarns.

Rows 8 – 14

Repeat rows 2 & 1 three times, then work a 1st Solid Row.

Continue this process for 59½” or desired length, ending with either a Row 7 or Row 14.

Cast off as follows:

Holding both yarns, knit the first paired stitch with both yarns instead of slipping, then proceed as follows:

*P1 with the appropriate color, K1 with the appropriate color, pull 1st paired stitch over both stitches, repeat from * until last paired stitched; knit paired stitch holding both colors, pass the previous pair over.

Cut yarn and weave in ends.

Remember Rule 3 – Check your work often.

Ok, so you checked and discovered, what’s going on? Let’s look at a couple of classic boo-boos and how easily you can fix them. Enter spare crochet hook.

Rule 2: Carry both yarns. When you knit, both yarns are in back. When you purl, both yarns are in front.

You forgot Rule #2, but no big deal. Believe it or not, I made this mistake many times but didn’t take a photograph. I was on the last section and had to deliberately make the mistake to get a photo. Correction took seconds, as follows:

Continue to work stitches to the boo boo stitch, then drop the stitches down to the error and use the crochet hook to re-knit the stitches, tucking the light in behind. Voilà! Fixed!

The other classic boo boo is a variation on Rule 1 – KNIT the knits and PURL the purls, the color determines the pattern. Guess what? You used the wrong color. You have a dark where there should be a light and chances are, you have a light where it should be dark. No worries, the remedy is the same.

There are floats between each stitch that are encapsulated between the layers. When you drop the stitches, use the crochet hook to pick up the correct color. The tension might look a little off, but it will all come out in the wash. As I said previously, chances are you made the mistake on both sides, so the tension will even out. It’s also easier to use a crochet hook that’s smaller to pick up stitches, that’s why I recommended an extra smaller sized hook in the materials list.

One last thing to talk about is rhythm and technique. If you watch YouTube videos on Double Knitting, you’ll see varying techniques on how to go about it. Whether you carry one yarn in each hand, both in the same, or work each row with one color, it doesn’t matter. What makes this flow is whatever feels most comfortable for you and the rhythm you establish. For me, I’m a thrower, i.e., English style, by nature. I can carry colors combining Continental with English, but what works best for me is English, where I carry the predominately knit color over my thumb and the Purl color over my index finger. I work the row without thinking about it very much. That’s my rhythm. As you work through this project, I’m confident you’ll develop your own. Once you do, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s not so difficult after all.

Remember the crochet cast-on edge and Rule 4 – Slip the 1st pair and knit the last pair together with both yarns? Here’s the result after you cast off.

The Crochet Cast On Edge, Slipped 1st pair of stitches and Bind Off creates a consistent edge on all 4 sides of the scarf.

The edges are consistent on all four sides of the scarf.

This project may take a wee bit of time to complete; after all, you’re making two scarves at the same time. But upon completion, you’ll be so proud of yourself and amazed at how great it looks.

Scully, the mannequin, sporting my new sweater and double knit scarf, both made with Wool Pop.

I’m really proud and amazed at how well this turned out. Everyone I’ve shown it to not only loves it but also asks when theirs will be ready. I was originally thinking of gifting it, but nope . . .  it’s for me.

I love the way the two colors complement each other. Who doesn’t like a dark and light grey combination? It goes with everything and looks good on everybody. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and hope that you’ll join me when I make a hat to match my scarf and of course, I’ll be using Wool Pop in the same colors of Silken and Graphite.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 3: The importance of gauge when knitting a sweater

Go to part 5: Double your fun with a matching reversible knitted hat

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