UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

December 7, 2009

In which I make a tube.

Filed under: instructions — Tags: , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:16 am

Interesting. Very interesting.

A friend of mine gave me a pattern for a sweater sized to hold gift cards. (I was going to add a little loop to mine so it could hang on the recipient’s tree.)

First. I now understand all the business about gauge. Gauge is not about forcing your yarn to give you a certain number of stitches per inch. It is about the passing along of knowledge. Even using the same yarn, I had a gauge half that of my friend’s. I was using #10.5 needles. She was using #5s.

Second. I apparently loathe i-cord. Since I had never made any until the recently completed gift neck-warmer (and that happened almost subconsciously), it seems unlikely that I would have such a strong opinion. Anyway, I looked into making a double-knitting tube. [ETA. the i-cord is how the sleeves of the tiny sweater are constructed.]

Various descriptions exist, though searching is difficult because of the yarn weight “double-knitting” and because the majority of people doing double-knitting are doing so with different colors, not to make a quick tube on straight needles without making i-cord. Then I saw a number of people talking about purl-side-out tubes. That is significantly easier because the yarn does not move for the slipping portion of the technique.

Now to make my knitting life even easier, I went ahead and strung the yarn around my neck and knit in the Turkish style where purling is the default stitch because everything happens in the front of the work. I found the first pointer to this in the book Knitting In the Old Way by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. Recently I saw it on an episode of Knitting Daily. But despite these resources I cannot seem to find a good web-based link tonight.

I ended up pulling off the tube I had knitted because it was enormous, but that did give me a chance to stick my thumb in to check the tubuluarity. I also inverted it and looked. This is, by far, the best i-cord substitution method I have found.

I might find some smaller yarn and some DPNs and make the i-cord, but this was certainly a very interesting test for a new technique. I have been considering knitting myself legwarmers using this double-knitting technique and I am very intrigued. If I can decipher how to do it in ribbing, that would be astonishingly excellent. If there is progress, I will make sure to share.

(Also, I have finished all the knitting on my toy elephant. It just wants sewing up. And that is just ghastly hard.)



  1. To make a little loop to hang something, I’d just use a crocheted chain–much easier and size doesn’t matter.

    The words “double knitting” unhelpfully refer to MANY different techniques, in addition to, as you note, a type of yarn. Beverly Royce wrote a book (now out of print) that may have some of the bits you were looking for.

    There’s information on the Turkish (also South American and Portuguese) style of knitting that you are describing in Donna Druchunas’ Ethnic Knitting Discovery; Andrea Wong has a DVD about it (she’s probably who you saw on Knitting Daily); and there may be some online resources if you also try the other geographic names in your search.

    Anyway, I’d still do a quick crocheted chain to hang something on a tree. If I was concerned that it wouldn’t be strong enough, I’d double or triple my yarn when I made the chain.

    Comment by Deborah Robson — December 7, 2009 @ 5:10 am

    • There are several places with information on the inside-out kinds of knitting. It is not always called “Turkish” but sorting through all of it was too much for a late night post. The Knitting Daily people called it Portuguese, I think. I still have that episode on my TiVo, I was going to re-watch it and hopefully catch the citations.

      The i-cord is for the micro-sweater’s sleeves. At 5sts/in a 12-stitch i-cord will make appropriate sleeves. My gauge of 3.5 doing the purl-out double-knitting… I got a tube almost large enough to be the sweater body. I was using the same yarn, and obviously most people would knit an aran weight yarn on big needles, especially if it is just an ornament. So I did not ask for gauge and just knit from the emailed notes. Who would have expected that kind of gauge would be unmentioned?

      Yes, the hanging loop is going to be something really simple like a crochet chain.

      Comment by UndyedYarnpire — December 7, 2009 @ 8:09 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: