Monday, October 15, 2007

Twice The Fun

It was many years ago, during my first life in Juneau, that my interest in all things fiber-y took off. Though I learned to crochet shortly before moving here, it was in Juneau that I learned to knit and also dabbled in weaving, spinning and natural dyeing.

Back in the day, I took a class at the University in beginning weaving with Carol Thilenius. Carol is an amazingly gifted weaver, knitter and spinner.

Lo and behold, this past Saturday Carol was leading a class in a technique she calls "Reverse Knitting." I know other people work this technique in similar and possibly different ways, but Carol's reversible llama sweater (I'm pretty sure she hand spun the yarn as well) was the first time I had seen it (circa 1982) and I've never forgotten it.

This technique produces a double sided fabric, stockinette on both sides with reversible patterns in two or more colors. Sounds simple, no? It was very humbling.

This was the product of over two hours of knitting. To be fair, much of that time was also spent oohing and aahing over the many gorgeous samples Carol brought for show and tell. Worked in a fine gauge yarn, this technique can produce a beautiful and elegant fabric. I wish I had photos of Carol's exquisite sweaters, jackets, hats and mittens to show you.

To make sure I had this new skill cemented in my rather porous brain, I worked another sample when I got home:

It's fun and clever .. and now I have to get back to my sweater ..


Hilary said...

Way cool! So it is double-thickness too, right? It looks too hard for me, but I love it!

chris said...

Now that is very cool! That will make some warm knits!

Ann said...

Oohh, looks like a puzzle I might have to explore! Coming here is dangerous because you add things to my list!! xo

Ava said...

It's also called double knitting, I think. I've been wanting to try it for a while.

textilejunkie said...

That's what I was wondering how does reverse knitting differ from double knitting. To the untrained eye - moi - it looks the same.

I've tried double knitting before with pattern and had the hardest time with it. It was difficult keeping what to knit when and tension straight. Then again it could have been my teacher, because once again it was moi :)

Holly Jo said...

Yes. I have seen it before. Too much for my little brain. Impressive. :) Seems like it would be great for hats and mittens.

Linda in Anchorage said...

Is this the same thing as double knitting? I taught a class in double knitting back in September here in Anchorage for the Guild, making a very nice reversible hat. Let me know if you'd like the pattern... I've also used double knitting to do pockets on various patterns. "Knitty" has the Lou Hoover doubleknit baby blanket in their pattern archives, which uses a slightly different (and perhaps easier, at least for that pattern) technique.