Double Knitting: Alasdair Post-Quinn Wants to Blow Your Mind
I’ve been meaning to learn about double knitting since I found out that it doesn’t only make a tube! Alasdair Post-Quinn has figured out how to use it for cables, lace, texture, and complex patterns. Alasdair has been pushing the boundaries of double knitting since he first learned the technique, and his classes at Interweave Yarn Fest 2020 go beyond the basics.
We asked Alasdair to tell us a little more about his classes and approach.
Double knitting is a subject that many knitters find intimidating; what would you say to people thinking about adding another challenge such as cables or texture to it?
Double knitting need not be intimidating! With practice, your muscle memory will allow you to do it almost without thinking. If you are an adventurous sort like me, you might find yourself curious how else this technique could be used. Surprisingly, there are a number of single-layer techniques that are possible (and I daresay improved) in double knitting. I have long been unhappy with the “wrong side” of single-layer knitting, and double knitting can fix that problem not only by hiding the wrong side, but by making another equally attractive right side.
Is it more work? Sure, but it’s also more fun once you begin to see the possibilities.
What are the benefits of using cables in double knitting?
Cabled double knitting is one of my favorite modifications of the technique. The process that I teach for cables in double knitting is a real pleasure to watch people try. It’s a mind-bender that requires you to think a little differently about cables and how they’re formed, and I think it may even help people to better understand single-layer cables. I have seen more dropped jaws while demonstrating my double-knit cabling without a cable needle than I have in any other workshop.
What would people be surprised to know you can do with double knitting?
I think the thing most people are surprised to see is double-knit lace. People are conditioned to think of double knitting as a dense fabric without any real potential for airiness, but just like any other fabric, it can be made looser depending on yarn and needle choices.
What do you personally find so interesting about it that you have explored it so extensively?
After I first discovered double knitting in the back of an out-of-print library book, I did a lot of research to learn more about this intriguing technique. I determined that there wasn’t that much about it, or at least not much in great detail, and nothing at all about two-pattern or three-color double knitting. This meant I was on a frontier of knitting. So I am in an enviable position: I have a technique that gives me great pleasure to explore and discover and push the boundaries of, which is of value and interest to the wider knitting world as well.
Alasdair Post-Quinn is the author of three books about double knitting. He has created dozens of original double-knitting designs that explore combining double knitting with a variety of other knitting techniques. He will be teaching classes from beginning double knitting to more advanced techniques at Interweave Yarn Fest 2020.