However, there is another really good reason to use doubled yarns, and that is to create sets of items – all perfectly co-ordinated because the same yarns have been used throughout.
The yarn is Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran, which gives a lovely surface for the placemats and coasters even when used with just one strand of yarn. However, putting two strands together creates a sturdy hot pad that will protect your table top from hot, heavy casserole dishes.
In this set I have used the same colour throughout but of course you could bring in a range of colours for the placemats, then combine different colours for the tablemats to give a different look for the centre-of-table items.
Some years ago I found myself at the end of a long flight with no knitting yarn to hand. I know! Shudder... It came about because a full cup of airline tea had soaked into a large amount of cotton-yak yarn and if you want to read the whole sorry tale, then please click here.
Needless to say, there are multiple reasons why I give thanks for having such a beautiful daughter (and I am of course only marginally biased) but that day it was because she is a knitter with a large and diverse yarn stash! She soon found me some suitable yarn and I started casting on for the cowl I was planning. The next day we visited a lovely yarn store in Faversham, Kent and found the yarn for the Northstowe Beanie Hat pictured above.
The yarn we found was a gorgeous DK wool mix by Coopworth Yarns called Socks Yeah DK and it worked beautifully with two ends of yarn held together. The Teversham Cowl that I made first with this yarn was so soft and warm that I went on to make a headwarmer, then a whole range of hats including the Northstowe Beanie Hat for men and the Madingley Beanie Hat for ladies.
It also had another great advantage – that I could then use just a single strand of the yarn to make thinner items such as gloves and socks to give a wonderfully co-ordinated set of items. So here are some ideas for how you could use these ideas to make sets of items:
Double up the same yarn – Use a single strand of wool for a pair of socks and gloves, then team them with a chunky hat, cowl or scarf in doubled yarns. Or use the same idea for a matching baby layette, with baby socks, mittens and dress worked in a single thin yarn, then add a matching bonnet and blanket worked with two ends of yarn held together.
And of course, you can also apply this idea to home textiles, with thin washcloths teamed with thicker bath mats, or with slimmer placemats matching firmer central table mats and hot pads, as in the photo at the top of this post.
Add a touch of texture – You can also use this idea to co-ordinate a glove and scarf set with different fibres as I was describing last time. So if, for example, you have a wonderfully fluffy mohair-and-wool scarf, you could then work a thin strand of mohair into the cuff of a glove to echo the soft look of the scarf. The glove "hand" would be in plain wool, but the trimmed cuff would tie the two items together.
Bring in some extra colour – Alternatively, you could work a pair of mittens in a single plain colour with a two-colour cuff to match a thicker two-colour cowl or hat worked with doubled strands.
Adding strength or extra padding – You can also use this same concept within a single item to reinforce a key area or to add extra padding. For example, you could work the sole of a knitted slipper with an extra strand of yarn to give a lovely cushy surface to walk on.
Fishermen's sweaters could have an extra-dense area at the elbows to save wear, or an additional strand could be added at the shoulders for warmth. The same is true for ski socks where a thicker boot cuff could be formed using a second strand of yarn to give extra cushioning and insulation.
Next time, I'll be back for the final blogpost in this series, where I will look at tips and techniques for working with doubled yarns. In the meantime, if you would like to read the whole series, then please click here to read the first post in the series, then follow the links through until you get back here again.
Until then – keep safe and happy!
Last Blogpost: Seeing Double #5 – Mixing it up
Seeing Double Series #1: Knitting with two ends of yarn
Next Up: Seeing Double #7 – Tips and Techniques using Doubled Yarns
Our book: Reversible Knitting Stitches
My Website: www.wyndlestrawdesigns.com
knitting with two ends of yarn, placemats, hats, socks