We kicked off 2019 with Renate Yerkes of Elephino PDX inspiring us to try out Double Knitting. If your goal for this year is to learn something new, take some guidance from the wonderful Renate! We also had a tip for those resolving organize their knit notions and some amazing show and tells!
Rose Haven Charity Knitting
At Puddletown, we see knitters as making a positive impact on our community. One of the ways we do this is by coming together as a community with our charity knitting projects. This year we'll be teaming up with Rose Haven.
Rose Haven is a day shelter and community center serving women, children and gender non-conforming folks experiencing the trauma of abuse, loss of home and other disruptive life challenges. Rose Haven’s mission is to maintain a safe, respectful community while providing our guests with support and services to assist them in regaining stability in their lives.
We want to give hand knit blankets made with machine-washable yarn to Rose Haven. Children love carrying around blankies for comfort, and adults benefit much from a nice lap blanket. Annette, our Program co-chair, showed us an example of a finished blanket. An easy way to make one is to knit a 36-inch long strip 6 to 10 inches wide for a quick knit, gather up more similarly gauged 36-inch strips, and stitch them together. Garter stitch is perfectly acceptable! It's a great way to bust your stash of acrylic yarns.
It's a great opportunity to collaborate with friends. Three or four knitters can knit their strips, gather for a stitch-up-the-strips party, and create a blanket in no time.
As you finish blankets, please bring them to meetings for Annette to collect.
If you find yourself sorting through tangles of circular needs, wondering if you even have the size you need for a project, consider an artful way to display your needles in an accessible way.
Angela, PKG Communications Chair, was inspired by designer Bristol Ivy, Angela used items she already had sitting around - a cork board, binder clips, and T-pins - to create a super simple place for her circulars. Organize in a way that works for you! Angela ordered hers from smallest to largest by top to bottom, left to right. She even found a place for a handy needle sizer/gauge ruler.
Using a cork board instead of affixing binder clips directly to your wall allows you more versatility, especially if you relocate often. Lastly, the cork board was hand-painted for fun. You could also wrap a cool fabric around your cork board or go au naturale.
What knitting notions organization tips do you have? If you'd like to share yours to the group at a meeting, email us!
Program: More the Two Sides to This Story: The Dynamic World of Double Knitting
Designer, teacher, and fashion maven Renate Yerkes (Elephino PDX) walked us through an overview, history, and some inspiration on Double Knitting, an emerging technique that yields a dense, warm, two-sided knit.
Renate says: The technique of ‘double knitting’ is essentially this; two layers of interwoven fabric produced simultaneously by knitting in a 1 x 1 rib pattern while alternating the knit and purl stitches between two contrasting colors, or even textures, of yarn. This results in a reversible piece with a Stockinette fabric on both sides, each side featuring the same motif with the inverse play of colors or textured yarns being used.
Double Knitting: A Rich History
This no-waste, two-for-one technique has an unclear history like much of knitting. Renate found a passage in Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace that describes a magic-like method of knitting two socks at the same time using a technique like that of double knitting. That was the 19th century. By the 1970s, machine-made, double-knit jacquard clothing was on trend. By the 1990s, it was certainly not on trend, as per Will Smith's lyric from "Parents Just Don't Understand":
Mom, please put back the bell-bottom Brady Bunch trousers
But if you don't want to I can live with that but
You gotta put back the double-knit reversible slacks
Renate Yerkes is at the forefront of what could be the next trend in knitting. Brioche, a type of double-sided knitting, has received a lot of attention since Nancy Marchant's book Knitting Brioche: The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch. Double knitting is just as if not more thick and cushier than its ribbed cousin.
Tips for Double Knitting
Why do you see a lot of accessories in double knit, but not sweaters? The interwoven construction makes it a little tricky for things like shoulder seams. Three-needle bind off doesn't work so well, either. Scarfs, cowls, and hats lend themselves well to Double Knitting.
Renate shared an ingenious way to keep your yarn from tangling as you knit. Much like stranded color work, two or or more strands of yarn are used in a row, and as you switch colors, the strands can become twisted. Renate places her yarns on a lazy Susan. To untangle, all you have to do is turn the lazy Susan clockwise once. Mind blown.
Get Started with Double Knitting
Renate is probably one of the best places to start to venture into Double Knitting!
Members and guests also had the chance to pick up a print out of a Puddletown exclusive pattern "Love Me a Scrubby" generously written and given to us by Renate!
If you take up Double Knitting, please do bring your projects to Show and Tell, share them on our Ravelry group, and tag Puddletown and Renate (@elephinoPDX on Insta) in your social media posts. We'd love to see them!
Show and Tell and Raffle
As usual, and always welcome, we had a line of magnificent finished objects, including a truly amazing double-knit circle scarf inspired by the One Ring of Lord of the Rings. Will the maker of that, please stand up? We'd love to feature it!
We had three lovely little raffles to get you started on selfish knitting or spinning this month.
Join us next month, February 14th, when Emily Devlin teaches us about sock anatomy!
Missives from the fabulous women who got the ball (of yarn) rolling.