Next up in my short row review are double stitches – a technique I came across in Stephanie van der Linden’s book “The Sock Knitter’s Workshop”. I don’t know the provenance of this technique, and as Montse Stanley doesn’t mention it in her book the Knittter’s Handbook (my go-to reference book) I was intrigued. Turns out they are fun and funny little stitches.
Method ＃4: Double Stitches
To make a double stitch is a very easy thing – knit the turning stitch.
Turn your work, and slip the first stitch (that’ll be the turning stitch you knit on the RS)
Now comes the fun bit – take the working yarn and pull it taut, up and over the needle towards the back.
The aim is to create two stitches from the loop on the right needle. In the photo below I’ve pulled the yarn nice and taut. The loops either side of my working yarn are from the single slipped stitch.
Effectively by pulling the working yarn tight, and then bringing it back around to purl we create a wrap around the slipped stitch which has been butterflied to make 2 loops.
A side view of the working yarn pulled taut.
I flipped the work over to take a photo from the knit side – the top of the slipped stitch is pulled right over the needle, making 2 loops from the original stitch. This is the ‘double stitch’. To continue working the purl side, after pulling the working yarn nice and tight, take it back to the front between the needles and purl the next stitch.
I think double stitches are kind of funky. I deconstructed it to show you better since it took me a little while to figure out what was going on with all those loops.
In the photo above are 3 double stitches on the left needle. Can you see the wrap and the original stitch butterflied?
The photo below should help deconstruct what’s going on. The white stitch was the stitch that got pulled round the needle by the working yarn. See how the head of the stitch is pulled right round the needle, making 2 loops? The head is dissected by the working yarn (yellow) that was pulled round tight and then purled across the row. See how it makes a wrap around one half of the white stitch? And cleverly, the white stitch sandwiches the wrap so when you come to work the double stitch the wrap is hidden – on both sides of the work! Clever clever.
The blue stitch was the second last stitch on the knit side row, and the orangey-yellow stitch is the first purled stitch after creating the double stitch so you can place the wrap in context.
When you come to working the double stitches, treat them as a single stitch and knit both loops together.
Here are a few close ups of working the double stitch as one.
This is the front of the worked double stitches.
And the back of the worked double stitches.
I like this method – it’s easy and fun to make the double stitches. I’m not hugely fond of the back of the work though since it feels quite bumpy so I wouldn’t like to use them socks. Still, a nice little technique to have in your back pocket!