How to Double Knit

How to Double Knit

What better way to expand your knitting repertoire than to double knit? Double knitting helps you create two separate fabrics at a time, produce intricate colorwork, and knit in the round using straight needles!

Now, double knitting may seem daunting at first, but it is pretty easy once you familiarize yourself with it. In fact, if you already know how to knit the purl stitch and the knit stitch, you are ready to go!

To learn more about how to double knit, let’s get started.

What is Double knitting?

Double knitting, also known as double-sided knitting, is a technique that produces two layers of knitted fabric simultaneously on a single set of needles. The two layers produced can either be connected as in interlocked knit fabrics or fully detachable.

The amazing method of double knitting creates a fabric consisting of two layers with knit stitches on both sides. The finished fabric is a completely reversible fabric, making it perfect for colorwork, combining different fibers for contrast, or even achieving a knit-faced fabric that offers double the warmth!

It is worth noting that double knitting allows you to create a knit fabric with two right sides facing out, so you get rid of the wrong way problem. For this reason, double-sided knitting is perfect for reversible pattern projects.

Now there are various ways of double knitting, including flat knitting and the double stockinette stitch methods. The following table shows the various methods of double-sided knitting and the knitting process.

Double knitting method

Knitting process

Flat Knitting

This is double-sided knitting on double-pointed needles. For the flat double knitting method, you should knit a row with one yarn, then slide the stitches to the other end of your double-pointed needle. 

Next, start working the same row with the next yarn

Double stockinette stitch

This double knitting method requires you to alternate the knit stitch of yarn x with the purl stitch of yarn Y

How to Double Knit: Patterns

Want to learn how to knit a double sided scarf, sweater, hat, or dishcloth? There are various knitting patterns you could choose for your first project. However, ensure that you know how to read knitting patterns to choose a suitable one and achieve the desired look.

The following are some beginner-friendly double knitting patterns.

    1. Double Knitted Heart Scarf

Double knitting tips
Image source: Kraemer Yarns

Complement your outfits with this striking knitting pattern. The double knitted heart scarf pattern requires you to alternate the knit stitch with the purl stitch on circular needles.

      2. Double Knit Ski Cap

How to double knit
Image source: Blue blog patterns

Keep yourself warm all winter long with this double-knit ski cap pattern. To create this pattern, use the double knitting technique on circular or double-pointed needles.

      3. Favorite Fashion Sweater Pattern

What is double knitting
Image source: Allfreeknitting

Looking to boost your confidence during the cold weather season? Don this stylish favorite fashion sweater pattern. This knitting pattern is perfect for beginners since it requires simple purl and knit stitches to double knit.

How to Hold Yarn Double Knitting

To create a double knitted fabric, you need to use two strands of yarn to knit. But how do you hold yarn to double knit? 

You should combine two strands of yarn and use them as if they were one as you knit. If your knitting pattern requires you to use two colors, you should pick a strand on each skein, combine and then use them as a single strand. For a single color double knit fabric, pick a piece of thread from the middle of the skein and another at the end, then combine them as you knit.

It is worth noting that holding the doubled yarn as you knit can result in floats, so you should always have the knitting yarns at the back of your work when doing a knit stitch and at the front for the purl stitch.

How to Knit Double Sided

How to knit double sided
Image source: We are knitters

Double knitting allows you to create socks, hats, and sweaters, to mention a few, using the reversible knitting pattern within the shortest time possible. Not sure how to start knitting using the double knit technique? To double knit, you need to master three essential skills;

    • Casting on
    • Knit stitch 
    • Casting off

Watch this video to learn how to double knit a pattern.

    1. Casting On

Long tail cast on double knitting
Image source: Interweave

Casting on is the process of turning loose knitting thread into stitches. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to cast on knitting.

Step 1: Gather the required knitting tools

The first step of any knitting project is to ensure that you have the required knitting tools. To learn how to double knit you need the following materials;

    • Knitting yarn. The knitting yarn is a continuous thread with interlocked synthetic or natural fibers used to create a knitted fabric. To choose the appropriate yarn for your double knit project, consider the yarn’s custom woven labels and the knitting pattern. 

Woven labels provide detailed information about the yarn’s weight, material, color, and ideal needle sizes to use with specific yarn. So, check the yarn labels for an ideal thread depending on the knitting pattern you intend to use for your project.

If you want to learn how to double knit with one color, choose yarns with similar dye lot numbers. Remember to check the yarn’s care labels to determine the best washing and care method for your double knitted garment.

    • Knitting needles. These are tools used to produce a knitted garment. There are various types of knitting needles in the market, including straight, circular, and double-pointed needles, each with different materials and sizes. 

So, ensure that you check the recommended needle sizes on the knitting pattern to select suitable needles for your project. Alternatively, use the recommended needle sizes on your yarn’s woven labels.

Knitting tool


Knitting yarn

Used to create a knitted garment.

Knitting needle

Knitting needles, also known as knitting pins, are used to produce hand-knitted fabrics.

Crochet hook

Used to pick up dropped stitches and weave in loose ends as you double knit. 

Step 2: Make a slip knot

How to double knit with one color
Image source: Studio knits

The slip knot, also known as the running knot, counts as the first cast-on stitch. Ensure that you hold the two strands together as if they are one to make your running knot, then place it on your knitting needle. 

Step 3: Push your fingers between the yarns so that yarn X is over the index finger and Y over the thumb, then cast on one X stitch.

Step 4:  Bring X over Y, then switch the position of the yarns so that Y is over the index finger and X over the thumb and cast on one Y stitch.

Step 5:  Bring Y over X, switch the position of the yarns on your fingers and then cast on another X stitch.

Step 6: Repeat the process until you have cast on the desired even number of stitches on your knitting needle. Ensure that the stitches alternate colors in pairs as you cast on.

Watch this video to learn how to cast on for double knitting.

       2. The Knit Stitch

Once you have the cast on the desired number of stitches, you should now start working on the body of your garment. The following is a step-by-step guide on how to knit stitch in double knitting.

Step 1: Turn your work around

How to double knit a pattern
Image source: Nimble needles

Place the needle with the cast-on stitches on your non-dominant hand and the empty one on the dominant hand. Next, hold the strands of yarn at the back of your work.

Step 2: Knit one stitch as usual

Double knitting for beginners
Image source: Nimble needles

Knit the first stitch on the non-dominant hand needle( color X) as usual, then bring the two strands between the needles to the front of your work.

Step 3: Purl one stitch

Purl the next stitch(color Y), then bring the two strands of yarn to the back.

Step 4: Repeat steps 2-3 until you get to the last pair of stitches in the first row. 

Step 5: Purl the last two stitches in the first row together, then turn your work around.

Step 6: Repeat steps 2-5 until you get to your garment’s desired length. Ensure that you knit and purl with the same color as the arc being worked on.

      3. Casting Off

Two color bind off method knitting
Image source: Knit grammer

Casting off refers to the process of removing the knitted fabric from the knitting needles. Don’t know how to cast off knitting? Here is a step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Knit two stitches as usual

To bind off, you should knit stitches as if working on a regular row. This means that you should knit the stitch with color X and purl stitch Y.

Step 2: Lift stitch X over Y to have one stitch on the dominant hand needle.

Step 3: Knit one stitch.

Knit the stitch X as usual, then lift the initial stitch on the dominant hand needle over the new stitch.

Step 4: Purl one stitch

Purl stitch Y, then pass the back stitch over the front stitch.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you cast off all the stitches from the needles. Make sure that the two working strands are at the back of your work as you cast off.

Once you have bound off all the stitches, you should familiarize yourself with the various sewing rooms ideas to weave in the loose ends of your double knit fabric. Weaving in loose ends secures the knit garments to prevent unraveling. 

To weave in ends on your double knit fabric, use a crochet hook. You could also use tapestry needles to seam pieces of your garment together when learning how to knit a sweater, a cardigan or hat, to mention a few.

Watch this video to learn how to cast off for double knitting.

Frequently asked questions

What size is double knit?

Double knitting yarn, commonly abbreviated as DK, refers to an 8-ply thread with approximately 11-14 wraps per inch, providing approximately 200-250 meters per 100 grams. To achieve the desired gauge range in stockinette stitches, it is recommended to use needle sizes ranging from 3.75 to 4.5 mm. This typically results in 21-24 stitches per 4 inches.

What type of yarn is double knit?

DK (Double Knit) yarn is a lightweight option, typically weighing around 50 grams. Compared to Aran yarns, DK yarns are thinner, making them ideal for projects that demand lighter yarns. They are frequently chosen for summer sweaters, caps, accessories, and children’s clothing, providing the perfect balance between versatility and comfort.

Are there any specific stitches used in double knitting?

The most common stitch used in double knitting is the slip stitch. By slipping stitches from one needle to the other without knitting or purling them, you can create a double-layered effect.

How do I read double knitting patterns?

Double knitting patterns are typically presented with two separate charts or written instructions, one for each side of the fabric. Each stitch on the chart or in the instructions represents two stitches—one on each side.


Double knitting helps create fabrics with two right sides. For this reason, it is a perfect technique for producing fabrics you intend to wear on either side or garments you will end up seeing both sides, including blankets, scarves, hats, gloves, and cardigans, to mention a few.

To double knit, you should hold two strands of yarn together, cast on, and then alternate the knit and purl stitches across the rows. You should then cast off your knitting once you reach the desired length and weave in the loose ends to secure the fabric.

That said, ensure that you select an easy-to-read pattern, follow the instructions and choose appropriate yarn and needles to achieve the desired look.

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