Viking Knit Part 2: Double Knit
Now that you've been practicing your single knit, you're probably wondering if there's any other variation of this fabulous technique to try. Indeed there is, double and triple knit. There's nothing really difficult about making double/triple knits vs. single knit, but it's slightly harder to see where to put your knitting wire, so most people start out on single knit.
This photo shows some samples of double viking knit. The copper chain was made with 26g wire. The middle silver chain was knit with 28g fine silver wire. The bottom chain was knit with 30g fine silver wire. Finer wires allow you to draw to a tinier diameter without crushing the weave.
If you have never done viking knit before, please visit Viking Knit Part 1 for instructions about starting the knit on your tool. This tutorial assumes that you already know how to do single viking knit and therefore will not cover those basic principles.
How to Make Double Knit:
The first thing you will need to do is knit at least two rows of single knit chain.
Double knit chain is essentially made the exact same way as single knit, except for one key point. You want to place your wire up two rungs (instead of only one) and then slide it behind the corresponding loop to the left. Triple knit is therefore made by putting the wire up three rungs and behind the corresponding loop to the left.
Pull the wire down and you should see a loop like this. It will look larger and longer than the single knit version.
Work your knit around until you run out of wire. You chain will start to look like this. If you find it increasingly difficult to get your wire behind the loops, you can use a pair off flatnose pliers to tighten up the loops slightly and to even the knit as the chain grows.
Simply place the jaws on either side of the knit column and gently squeeze the knit until it straightens up the column and tightens the knit.
It should become much easier to get the wire behind your loops now. Your double knit weave should look something like this when you are done with your first section of wire. Again, don't be upset if yours does not look at neat as mine.....I've been doing this for quite awhile now. Your technique will improve over time.
When you need to begin a new section of wire, use the same process that you would for single knit. This is also true for other tools than the Lazee Daizee. Just follow the single knit instructions, but bring that new wire uptwo rungs instead of one. Likewise, up three rungs for triple knit. This is how your new wire will look once it has been pulled into place.
Once you have knit your chain to the desired length, you are ready to begin drawing your wire. Again, with the Lazee Daizee tool, your chain should fit into the 10mm hole. Other tools will produce other diameters of chain. Larger holes are available on your drawplate. Simply use what your chain will easily fit into for the first pull and work down to smaller holes from there.
Continue to pull the chain into smaller holes in sequential order. Resist the urge to skip holes. The key to even looking chain, is patience and following the process. I usually use my chain from the 5mm hole (unless I am using very thin gauge wire such as 30g). The knit is still very flexible at this diameter, although it is stiffer than single knit. It starts to crush the weave at the 4mm hole when using 26g wire. Smaller gauges will be able to be drawn with no problem at all. Wire in 28g will work well in this size hole. While 30g works well down to the 3.5mm hole.
I have been asked how I know how much wire I will need to make a bracelet/necklace/etc. Over the last year, I have recorded down some of my measurements that will hopefully help you decide what you will need for you project. Please understand that there is some wiggle room in the following measurements. Your knit might be slightly tighter or looser than mine. Drawplates can also be different as well as several other factors. This will at least help you get a general idea of how much wire you will need
24 gauge wire: I'm not saying it's impossible, but I find it hard to knit single knit with this gauge. I can't imagine trying to do it in double knit. Therefore I do not have measurements for this gauge. I'm always happy to report what other's have found in their experiences though. So, if you have some guidelines for this gauge, let me know!
26 gauge wire: Double knit will take about 60ft or 3.33 feet of wire for every inch. (Please keep in mind that these are not as exact as the measurements for the gauges listed below). These are for chains pulled to a 5mm diameter. Obviously smaller diameters will produce a longer chain.
28 gauge wire: This is the point where I became a little more methodical about recording measurements because I knit fine silver using this gauge. We all know how expensive silver is these days. For double knit chain you will need approximately 4.35 feet per 1 inch of non-pulled chain. After it has been pulled, it will end up being 3.10 feet per 1 inch of chain. And so you can figure out how much non-pulled chain to make, for every 1 inch of non-pulled chain, you will get 1.4 inches of pulled chain.
30 gauge wire: This gauge is wonderful if you want a nice narrow chain.....it is prone to kinking though when your knitting with it. For a double knit chain you will need approximately 4.34 feet of wire per 1 inch of non-pulled chain. When pulled to 3.5mm, you will have 2.90 feet of wire per 1 inch of chain. One inch of non-pulled chain will result in about 1.5 inches of pulled chain.
There you have it.....double knit. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and have fun making your own viking knit chain!