I'm a little late, but I finally posted my entry for Iron Craft Challenge 4. Challenge 4 was to make a coffee cozy, which is great as a knitter. My husband wanted to know why I wasn't posting one of the dozen or more coffee cozies I've made in the past two months, but the point of the challenge is to do something new. To stretch one's boundaries.
I love double knitting. I might not be the master artist of Alasdair or Elli Stubenrauch, but I have done double knitting before. I started a few years ago with the Hoover Blanket, which is one of the simplest examples of Double Knitting. I have also designed and knit (well started) a scarf and a coffee cozy with a random squiggle design I charted out.
One of the questions for double knitting is how to knit something that has a side. Alasdair has done a lot of excellent work doing two pattern double knitting, where the inside and outside patterns do not necessarily relate. This is excellent for those who want to double knit words. Almost all letters have a facing. Doing it backwards is still readable, but odd looking.
I wanted to try my own hand at reversible double knitting, but I didn't have time to hand draw my own image for a chart.
Instead, I found this chart for filet crochet and converted it to a reversible double knitting chart. I did that early Monday morning, not thinking over the weekend that my life would be a lot easier if I started more than 2 days before the challenge post date. I started knitting shortly afterwards.
Om is double knit in sock weight yarn, but my two sock weights were something (probably Baby Ull) that I hand dyed more than 2 years ago and left over MadTosh from the last sock I finished. My finished product would look better overall if the two fingering weights were a little closer to the same weight. The MadTosh was a much lighter yarn than the blue.
I loved this project, and I loved my final coffee cuff, but double knitting especially in fingering weight yarn is slow. I made the mistake of calculating how long it was taking me to do a round when I was in the bottom of the Om: 14 minutes a round. Even on a tiny project like this that equals a huge time investment!
Before I decided to go with the Om chart, I was trying to chart words by hand. I had my graph paper with the spaces for the phrase marked out and a colored pencil. I'm not sure how Alasdair does his charts, but this method was insane. I didn't have white out, but I was bemoaning my need for it on a pretty regular basis. Using a piece of shareware photo-editing software made all the difference in how much time this project took and my sanity level while doing so. Without it, I would not be showing a coffee cuff two days after the post date but a few weeks.
Now I need to go back to my next project: finding a pattern that matches the sock yarn I bought last fall for stripy socks. Given the current weather, my desire for stripy socks is going to be sacrificed for mittens. To the fingering weight mittens!