How to Double Knit

    by Jennifer Loucks

    About the Author

    Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.


    The double knit stitch creates a reversible, double thick piece of fabric. The technique uses two strands of yarn stitched alternately on one pair of knitting needles to create a two-layer, double-sided effect. Double knitting is used for projects that require thickness and insulation, such as bags, pillows, potholders and coats. Once you learn the basic double knitting technique, you also can add stripes and patterns.

    Things You'll Need

    • Knitting needles
    • 2 skeins of yarn in different colors

    Cast on using both colors of yarn held together. There will be a double loop for each cast on stitch. To practice the double knit stitch, cast on at least 20 stitches.

    Hold both colors of yarn in one hand. On this side of the piece, always knit the first color. Purl all stitches of the second color by pulling both strands of yarn to the front of the piece and purl the second color with that color yarn only. Always have both strands of yarn either in the front of the work or back of the work, depending on the stitch you are using. Finish the row in this manner.

    Turn your piece to knit the next row, doing the opposite of the previous row. The color that is now facing you will be knit stitches and the color on the back side will be purl stitches, so now you will be knitting the second color and purling the first color.

    Bind off when the project is complete. Treat both loop stitches as one and knit two stitches using both yarns held together, using the double loop as one stitch. Pull the first stitch over the second; you will now have one stitch on the needle. Knit another stitch and repeat by pulling the first stitch on the needle over the second. Repeat this to the end of the piece. When one stitch remains, cut the yarn and pull through the remaining loop to finish.

    Practice the double knit technique until it is comfortable to do. Holding two strands of yarn takes practice. Start with a small, easy project such as a straight scarf.

    • When the times comes to add a new ball of yarn, tie the two together and tuck the knot inside the work since it is a double layer. This is easier than having to weave the ends into the piece.
    • Always make sure both strands of yarn are either in front or in back of the project at the same time. Don't pull just one strand forward to do a purl stitch as this will not give a clean look to the back side. This is where most mistakes are made in double knitting.