Not to interrupt the Curlicue high or anything, but I’ve got something else to talk about – my sample knit for Annie Modesitt’s new book, Men Who Knit (and the dogs who love them).
The description of the sample knit makes it seem almost trivial – it’s just a felted dog bed knit out of KnitPicks Sierra. However, Annie’s signature cleverness is present through and through!
First, the sides of the dog bed are striped and the reverse stockinette side is the public side. You know that’s going to look super cool all felted up!
Second, the sides are double-knit. I’ve never used that technique before, so correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe traditionally only one strand is used at a time. However, the particular way in which Annie designed the double-knitting requires knitting with two yarns at once! At first, I was using both of my hands, the way people often do when knitting Fair Isle designs:
My left hand is purling, and my right, knitting.
You know on my Gilligan’s Island left hand is Captain and the right hand is just an awkward Skipper, so to make sure I was on the right track, I e-mailed Annie and asked her how she intended the pattern to be knit. Annie wrote back that (no surprise) she has no intentions of telling anyone how to knit! But she mentioned that she held both strands in her left hand. I gave it a try, and the technique is simply brilliant:
Believe it or not, in this picture I’m alternating purling and knitting with each of the yarns! Incredible!
So, you know that double-knitting produces a double-thickness fabric with a “pocket” in the middle. Annie took advantage of this and wrote her pattern in such a way that one side of the pocket is closed, and the other open – that way fiberfill can be stuffed into each pocket before it’s seamed up!
You wanna take a look inside this magical pocket? Remember, this is the wrong side of the work:
So cool! (Also, easy to adjust directions in case the dog owner wants the stripes on the right side).
I’m so excited about this project because double-knitting in this way is awesome (and looks mighty impressive), the way the pocket is formed without any extra work is genius (you’ll just have to knit it yourself to find out how!), and I just love glancing inside it to see all the cool stripes!
Oh yeah, ten exclamation points in that entry! Well, now eleven ;).
Oh, that thing about my sidebar – I forgot to check browser compatibility. So although my girl Betsy, a fellow Mac user, was able to figure things out, those of you using PC IE… not so much :). Classic mistake on my part. I think it’s better now.