Double Knitting

Double knitting is the exception to many knitting rules. You can double knit a stockinette scarf, and it will lay flat instead of curling. Color knitting will be reversible, showing a negative of the image on the back of the work instead of floats.

How is this possible? Double knitting produces a fabric with the right sides showing on both sides of the work. This technique is fun to do and produces a thick fabric that is ideal for winter accessories, hot pads, and there are even patterns for double knit sweaters!

Cast on


Cast on with double the number of stitches

The cabled cast on is great for double knitting because it creates a flexible edge. Make sure that you double the number of stitches that you cast on. If you cast on 20 stitches, you will see 10 stitches on each side of your work. You always want to cast on an even number of stitches since they need to be divided between the two sides of your knitting.

Cast on with yarn held double
You could also use the cast on of your choice, but with the yarn held double. Make a center pull ball of yarn, and cast on with both ends of a single ball of yarn. Cast on the number of stitches that you want to show on each side of the double knitting. Then begin to double knit into each strand of yarn in the cast on separately.

How to Double Knit

Single color double knitting instructions

This is the easiest way to do double knitting
Cast on an even number of stitches
*Knit 1, slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front, repeat from * across the row
Repeat stitch pattern on each row
Bind off (using any method)

Double knitting with one color in the front and one color in the back

Cast on an even number of stitches with the main color
Tie on your contrast color and knit the first stitch with both yarns held in back, but only making a knit stitch with your main color

Bring both yarns to the front and purl the next stitch with only the contrast color

Repeat these two stitches across the row

Tip: When you start a new row, wrap your working yarn under the other color yarn to avoid holes on the sides of your work.

Double knitting a reversible motif

You do not always have to knit each stitch with the same color as the previous row. Start knitting the MC with the CC and purl the CC with the MC. If you switch your colors all the way across the rows, you have stripes. If you follow a fair isle chart, you can make a design, but remember that each stitch in the chart represents two stitches in double knitting.