Monday, January 7, 2013

Hotpad for my sister, and my misadventures in double knitting

(My snippet regarding my goals is at the bottom of this post)

I decided to make this potholder/hotpad for my sister for her birthday.  I planned on making two, until my learning process for double knitting became a HUGE HASSLE.  Seriously.  I did not have a clue.

The pattern is roughly written by the designer, which is fine.  I don't expect someone to teach me how to knit every time they write a pattern.  However, I was shocked by how many people said, "this was my first double knitting project!" and yet I didn't find much help regarding the actual technique of pattern work within it.  (Also, this was mostly last minute, so I didn't have time to check out resources from the library - my bad.)

Essentially with double knitting, you are casting on both sides of a project at once by casting on twice as many stitches, and you knit every other stitch (which becomes one side of the work) and purl the other stitches (which become the back of the work).  Then you have a reversible piece of work that's really cool!

Here are the resources I used to help me through it: (all short videos)

How to cast on for double knitting
Knitting the first row with double knitting (by the same person as above)
Doing a pattern within the work  in my case, a teapot

I got really frustrated when I didn't understand casting on twice as many stitches (do I cast twice the number told in the pattern or did the creator already account for that? I ended up restarting 3 times before figuring it out). I went with the original cast on number in the pattern so it's a smaller hot pad that I'm not too thrilled with, but I get the process now.  I purled the last stitch of each row and slipped it knitwise the beginning of each row (you can partially see in my pictures that I didn't do this in the beginning, one side has a nice braiding and half of the other side is kind of twisted).

(My Ravelry link for this project)

This gift fell under my "buy everything local for gifts" goal, which, womp womp, we didn't do.  I already had this yarn on hand from Michael's last year (which I don't feel bad for, stash yarn is okay!) but my husband designed her some Batman stationary, and we ran by Fedex Office to print it out instead of a locally owned business.  Doh!  It was only a few dollars and it was the first week in January so I have to get in the swing of things.  Not a huge deal, but I have two birthdays next month I'll (hopefully) be better about!  Here's the stationary Jesse designed for her:

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