invisble double knit seams

(for info on the basics of double knitting, check out my blog post here)

once you get started double knitting, you’ll realize pretty quick that long tail cast offs and basic knit bind offs are extremely obtrusive to the rest of your beautiful knitting. and since few books and websites have been written on this subject, it is pretty hard to find alternatives to the basic dk cast on and bind off.

stitchdiva lists one alternative for each, basically suggesting that you cast on with one colour and then kfb each stitch to make the two sides of the work. i’ve seen this discussed (in the yahoo dk group mostly) as the way most people do each of these and i’m having a hard time using google to find anyone with a different way. this way does work fine but i keep thinking that there has to be a better technique.

what’s been floating ahead in my mind recently is doing a figure-8 or provisional cast on and then grafting the top seam. this way, the work would be fluid– top to bottom, side to side, without any overflow of the cc to make your cast on look messy on the mc side. so i just swatched it and… yeah! it works. it’s actually sort of beautiful (one colour floating into another effortlessly). even if someone has thought of this before, i’m pretty damn proud to have figured it out.

my happy little swatch (ok so the knitting part is sort of messy, we can’t all be perfect. the gauge is way off– i usually use a size 6 with simply soft and all i had in front of me were 8’s. i’m lazy.):

click photos to enlarge

MC:

CC:

figure 8 cast on:

kitchener stitch bind off:

i’m going to work another dk hat and try this as the bind off, and if it works (stretch-wise) i’ll add an errata note suggesting the use of this method over the one written in the pattern. i’m also going to write up a tutorial that shows how to apply this cast on and bind off to double knitting as soon as DH wants to play photographer.

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11 thoughts on “invisble double knit seams

  1. This kitchener stitch bind off for double knit is elegant. Thanks so much.

    I work at the Madison Knitters’ Guild Help Desk. A member asked me how to bind off for double knitting and I didn’t know how to do anything that looked good. Because I thought I knew everything, I’ve been experimenting this way and that. Your solution is exactly what she wanted and then some.

    Thanks, Roberta

  2. I just stumbled across this entry when I was trying to figure out a better way to bind off dk. The only kitchener stitch I’ve done has been to bind off a sock toe, grafting together stitches from two different needles. The issue with dk is that the stitches to be grafted are on the same needle. Does this make a difference? Also, did you just graft using a strand of one of the colors, or did you somehow work in both? Sorry to ask so many questions, but I love the look of what you did and I’d love to know how to replicate it for some dk pieces I’m working on!

    • Emily,
      If you are familiar with Kitchener on two needles, the easiest way would be to transfer the RS and WS stitches on to separate needles. That way, the stitch works out exactly as you have done in the past. It’s kind of a pain, but it’s easier than visualizing and executing an entirely new technique. I just used one color, but it’s not noticeable that one side is a row longer than the other.

      Glad you like the look, let me know how it goes!
      -Vanessa

      • Thanks! What I’m working on is somewhat large and circular and it would be worlds easier, I think, to learn a new kitchener rather than transfer stitches to another needle for the standard technique. Do you know where I could find information on kitchener from just the one needle? I’m a quick learner and it would save lots of time in the long run!

      • Emily,
        Sounds like you’re probably right. I have never seen a tutorial of Kitchener Stitch on one needle, but it is definitely possible (considering I did it for this post). If you imagine how the stitches would be laid out on two needles, you can conceptualize how you could do it on one, but it does take a bit of fiddling.

        I’ll try to explain, but if you need any clarity just let me know:

        Set-up:
        Sew purlwise through the first stitch on the needle. Leave it on, and insert the needle knitwise through the second.

        Repeat:
        (note: to sew knitwise through WS stitches, always insert the needle from the back between the RS and WS stitch and “grab” the front half of the stitch, and then bring the needle back to the back of the work)

        Insert the needle knitwise through the first stitch, slip off needle. Insert the needle purlwise through the next RS stitch (now the 2nd stitch on the needle) and leave it on. Insert the needle purlwise through the next stitch on needle (WS), slip off needle. Insert the needle knitwise through next WS stitch (now the 2nd stitch on needle) and leave it on.

        Hope this makes some sense. I’m on vacation in New Orleans for the week but if this doesn’t make sense I can do a photo tutorial when we get home. I will be back next Thurs. so if the project isn’t urgent just let me know and I’ll get organized to do that (I could have it up next Thursday or early Friday)

        Let me know. Happy Knitting!

  3. Hello V Vine,
    I love the double knitting technique. I made a couple of projects and I already learned how to cast on but I do not know anything about the kitchener stitch bind off. Could you please let me know how to bind off for double knitting since your technique looks so beutiful.
    Thank you so much!!

    PS: I hope to be clear, my english is not so good

    • Romy,

      I tried to describe the best I could in the comments below. Try watching the kitchener stitch tutorial video on knittinghelp.com and see if my directions make more sense after that. It takes a bit to master, but it’s a really fun (and useful) technique!

      Hope that helps!

      -Vanessa

  4. Hi thanks for showing us your test swatch 🙂 I actually thought about trying kitchener stitch for a bind off, but how did you do a provisional cast on with two colors? Did you just hold the two yarns together and then use kitchener stitch on the live stitches later? I know this post is old, but any help would be much appreciated! I am making a baby blanket for a friend and I hated all of the traditional cast ons/bind offs shown.

    • I’m so sorry, I just saw this comment! Not that I’m going to be much help now, but I believe I did a figure 8 cast on with one color– the one row doesn’t really show on the opposite side. Hope your baby blanket is coming along well– and if you haven’t started yet and need further guidance just let me know!!

      -Vanessa

  5. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little research on
    this. And he actually ordered me lunch due to the fact
    that I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this.

    … Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for
    spending time to discuss this subject here on your web site.

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