I've spent a lot of time before Christmas and in January working on my skills in double knitting (see the video tutorial in the advanced techniques section at knittinghelp.com for basic instruction). Having progressed to the middle section of Tom's scarf I received in the post a version of it for my nephew, made by a Danish knitting friend, Heidi Bybeckmann. This scarf was so beautiful and so perfectly executed that it sent me to my needles to swatch, swatch, swatch in an attempt to emulate her amazing skill. However, only after seeking advice from the Master Knitter herself did I manage to recreate the beautiful corded edges and approach anywhere near her even tension. My two-handed yarn management (which I swear by for fairisle) was not working well for double knitting, and my single-stranded edge stitches were making the edges messy.
Armed with this new knowledge about how to do double knitting I designed and knitted these Hogwarts bookscarves to practice with:
4ply/Sock yarn in House Colours as shown Main colour = Colour A, Contrast colour = Colour B
Cast on: Make 18 stitches in each of the two colours for the bookscarf (36 stitches in total), alternating the colours with every stitch. Any two-colour cast-on will do. (I do a very fiddly thing with Judy's magic-cast on to make a cast-on that looks like the back and front were knitted as one long piece and then just folded and seamed at the edges. I'll explain that technique in another post.)
First row: Slip the first stitch knitwise, then alternate knit then purl stitches as when working K1P1 rib, but work all the knit stitches with Colour A, and all the purl stitches with Colour B until the last stitch. Purl the last stitch with both colours held together.
Second and subsequent rows: Slip the first (doublestranded) stitch knitwise. Working a knit stitch first again alternate knit and purl stitches, but working the stitches in whichever colour is required as follows:
On the right side work all knit stitches in the colour shown on the chart, following each knit stitch with a purl stitch in the other colour (i.e. not the colour that was used for the knit stitch). On wrong sides work all the knit stitches in the opposite colour to that shown on the chart following each knit stitch with a purl stitch in the other colour (i.e. not the colour that was used for the knit stitch).
Purl the last stitch with both strands held together.
Cast off: Any cast off will do. I like to separate the stitches so the stitches from each side are on different needles, then graft the two sets of stitches together with Kitchener stitch.
Weave in all ends, and you're done!
Charts: (these link to my flick account - please feel free to download larger versions of the charts from there for your own, non-commercial use)
Enjoy your Potter reading!