How to knit tutorial: Double-knitting stocking stitch (for knitting right-handed)

Double-knitting: Reversible Stocking Stitch

The version for knitting right-handed

In this post I’m going to show you how to work stocking stitch when double-knitting. The following explanations and images are for those who knit right-handed, that is, your working hand is your right hand (regardless of which hand you use to hold the yarn) and the stitches move from the left to right needle as you knit. If you knit left-handed read this tutorial.

Double-knitting stocking stitch (for knitting right-handed)

Double-knitting is a technique which creates a two-layered reversible fabric. Double-knitting can be used to knit reversible stitch patterns in more than one colour, but I’m going to keep it simple for now and just show you one colour on each side.

In the photo below, you can see a sample of stocking stitch fabric worked using the double-knitting technique. When you look at the fabric you can see the knit side in blue. The yellow stitches are hidden underneath the blue, although you can just see them peeping out at the lower edge as well as on the needle. Take a look at my post called What is double-knitting? for a more detailed explanation.

Double-knitting sample on knitting needle

It will be easier to explain if I refer to the side you can see as the facing side and the side you can’t see as the opposite side, so in the above photo, the blue is the facing side and the yellow is the opposite side.

How to knit a facing stitch by throwing

Let’s start by knitting a facing stitch! In the photo below I’m about to knit the next blue facing stitch on the non-working (left) needle. I start with both yarns at the back of the work. I’m holding one yarn in each hand; this is how I hold the yarn when I’m working in two colour for techniques such as Fair Isle and I find it also works well for double-knitting. I’ll be using the yarn in my right hand, so I’ll be throwing the yarn to make a knit stitch.

Double-knitting How to knit a facing stitch: start with Both yarns at back ready to knit a facing stitch

You start in the same way as for knitting in normal stocking stitch; by inserting the working (right) needle, knitwise, through the next stitch on the non-working (left) needle.

Double-knitting How to knit a facing stitch: Insert working needle through facing stitch

Then you throw the yarn in working (right) hand round the working needle, keeping yarn in non-working (left) hand at the back. Again, that’s just the same as throwing a knit stitch in normal stocking stitch.

Double-knitting How to knit a facing stitch: Throw yarn in working hand, keeping yarn in non-working hand at back

Next use the working (right) needle to pull the new ‘daughter’ stitch through the old ‘mother’ stitch.

Double-knitting How to knit a facing stitch: Use working needle to pull new daughter stitch through mother stitch

And finally you drop the mother stitch from non-working (left) needle, which leaves the new daughter stitch sitting on working (right) needle.

Double-knitting How to knit a facing stitch: Drop mother stitch from non-working needle, new daughter stitch sitting on working needle

So, knitting a stitch by throwing is exactly the same for double-knit and normal stocking stitch. However you choose to hold the two yarns, the second one is held at the back out of the way.

How to purl an opposite stitch by picking

In the photo below I’m ready to purl a yellow opposite stitch. This time, I start with both yarns at the front of the work. Again, I’m holding one yarn in each hand; but this time I’ll be using the yarn in my left hand, so I’ll be picking the yarn to make a purl stitch.

Double-knitting How to purl an opposite stitch RH 1

Again, you start in the same way as for purling in normal stocking stitch; by inserting the working (right) needle, purlwise, through the next stitch on the non-working (left) needle.

Double-knitting How to purl an opposite stitch: Insert working needle through opposite stitch

Then you use the working (right) needle to pick the yarn in the non-working (left) hand, keeping the yarn in the working (right) hand in front. Now, if you look at the photo carefully, you will see that I’m not picking in the normal way. Usually, when picking (and throwing) we take the yarn round the needle in a clockwise direction (image you are looking along the needle to the point). I’m actually taking the yarn round the needle in an anticlockwise (counterclockwise) direction. The reason is that it is far easier to pick a purl this way and as someone whose normal knitting method is throwing, I need to make the picking easy. Why does it matter? Well, the direction in which the yarn goes round the needle affects the way in which the new stitches sit on the needle. By taking the yarn anticlockwise round the needle, the stitch formed will sit with its leading leg at the back. Because of this we shall have to do something slightly different to the yellow stitches on the next row.

Double-knitting How to purl an opposite stitch: Throw yarn in working hand, keeping yarn in non-working hand at back

Of course, if you are used to purling by picking, then you can purl in the usual way and your new stitch will sit with its leading leg at the front.

Next use the working (right) needle to pull the new ‘daughter’ stitch through the old ‘mother’ stitch. And finally you drop the mother stitch from non-working (left) needle, which leaves the new daughter stitch sitting on working (right) needle.

Double-knitting How to purl an opposite stitch: Use working needle to pull new daughter stitch through mother stitch, drop mother stitch from non-working needle, new daughter stitch sitting on working needle

You might be able to see that the new stitch is sitting the opposite way round to the next stitch on the non-working needle.

How to knit a facing stitch by picking

I’ve reached the end of the first row and turned my work. Now the yellow stitches are facing stitches and the blue ones are opposite stitches. I’m keeping the two yarns in the same hands as before.

My next stitch is a yellow facing stitch. Again, I start with both yarns at the back of the work. This time I’ll be knitting with the yarn in my left hand, so I’ll be picking it to make a knit stitch.

Double-knitting How to knit a facing stitch by picking: Both yarns at back ready to knit a facing stitch by picking

Now, this is where things are slightly different because the yellow stitches from the previous row have their leading leg at the back. If I purl through the front loop my mother stitch will become twisted. I want all my stitches to be untwisted, so I have to insert the working (right) needle, knitwise, through the the back loop of the next stitch on the non-working (left) needle. You can read more about twisted stitches in my blog post Twisted and Untwisted Stitches.

Double-knitting How to knit a facing stitch by picking: Insert working needle through facing stitch

Then you use the working (right) needle to pick the yarn in the non-working (left) hand, keeping yarn in working (right) hand at the back, and taking the yarn round the needle in the usual manner (that is, clockwise, when looking along the needle towards the point).

Double-knitting How to knit a facing stitch by picking: Pick yarn in non-working hand, keeping yarn in working hand at back

Next use the working (right) needle to pull the new ‘daughter’ stitch through the old ‘mother’ stitch.

Double-knitting How to knit a facing stitch by picking: Use working needle to pull new daughter stitch through mother stitch

And finally you drop the mother stitch from non-working (left) needle, which leaves the new daughter stitch sitting on working (right) needle.

Double-knitting How to knit a facing stitch by picking: Both yarns at back ready to knit a facing stitch by picking

And, by working through the back loop we made sure that the mother stitch is untwisted, and by taking the yarn round the needle clockwise we made sure that the new daughter stitch sits with the leading leg at the front.

How to purl an opposite stitch by throwing

In the photo below I’m ready to purl a blue opposite stitch. As for purling on the previous row, I start with both yarns at the front of the work.  However, this time I’ll be using the yarn in my right hand, so I’ll be throwing the yarn to make a purl stitch.

Double-knitting How to purl an opposite stitch by throwing: Both yarns at front ready to purl an opposite stitch by throwing

Again, you start in the same way as for purling in normal stocking stitch; by inserting the working (right) needle, purlwise, through the next stitch on the non-working (left) needle.

Double-knitting How to purl an opposite stitch by throwing: Both yarns at front ready to purl an opposite stitch by throwing

Then you throw yarn in working (right) hand round the working needle, keeping yarn in non-working (left) hand at the front. That’s just the same as throwing a purl stitch in normal stocking stitch.

Double-knitting How to purl an opposite stitch by throwing: Both yarns at front ready to purl an opposite stitch by throwing

Next use the working (right) needle to pull the new ‘daughter’ stitch through the old ‘mother’ stitch.

Double-knitting How to purl an opposite stitch by throwing: Both yarns at front ready to purl an opposite stitch by throwing

And finally you drop the mother stitch from non-working (left) needle, which leaves the new daughter stitch sitting on working (right) needle. This new stitch is also sitting the with its leading leg at the front.

Double-knitting How to purl an opposite stitch by throwing: Both yarns at front ready to purl an opposite stitch by throwing

In the next post I’m going to show you how to work stocking stitch when double-knitting for knitters who work left-handed.

Meanwhile please take a look at the Anemone fingerless mittens and the Cymru cowl to see how double-knitting can be used for colour patterns.

Want to learn more?

Take a look at my other tutorials. Choose from:

Tutorials for knitting right-handed

You knit right-handed if your right hand is your working hand (regardless of which hand you use to hold the yarn) and you move your stitches your left to right needle as you knit.

Tutorials for knitting left-handed

You knit left-handed if your left hand is your working hand (regardless of which hand you use to hold the yarn) and you move your stitches move from your right to left needle as you knit.

Tutorials for crocheting right-handed

You crochet right-handed if your right hand is your working hand (regardless of which hand you use to hold the yarn) and your new stitches are on the left of your old ones.

Tutorials for crocheting left-handed

You crochet left-handed if your left hand is your working hand (regardless of which hand you use to hold the yarn) and your new stitches are on the right of your old ones.

Or maybe you’d like to come to one of my short courses or workshops or book a special personalised one-to-one tutorial.

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