I created these for my friends who were getting married. I knew they were Star Trek fans, and pot holders are a useful kind of thing for a newly wed couple, so this seemed perfect. Unfortunately, I couldn't find an appropriate chart, so I made my own! I believe this is the Next Generation logo, but I could be wrong, since I'm not much of a Trekkie myself.
This is my first experiment with double-knitting, so if my instructions seem unclear, this is a pretty decent tutorial, and I'm sure you could find all sorts of instructional videos on YouTube. Basically, double-knitting creates two pieces of fabric at a time with their wrong sides together. If there were no colour work in this pattern, you'd be able to separate the two pieces of fabric to make a bag. In fact, Kory Stamper, in this article for Knitty's Fall 2006 issue, suggests using the double knitting technique to knit two socks at the same time inside each other (that just sounds dirty). It's an amazing technique that you should probably check out (I know it's on my to-try list).
Anyway, without further ado, here's the pattern!
- 2 balls of worsted weight cotton yarn in contrasting colours. I used 1 ball of Lily's Sugar 'n Cream (109m/71g) in Ecru and 1 ball in Bright Navy.
- 4.0mm (US 6) straight needles
- 5.0mm (H) crochet hook
- tapestry needle
15 st and 22 rows per 4"
Gauge is not very important for this pattern, but with my gauge, I ended up with approximately 8" square pot holders. Note also that your gauge will tend to be looser when double knitting than indicated on the ball band with the recommended needle size.
k - knit
p - purl
ch - chain
sc - single crochet
sl st - slip stitch
st - stitch
1. Cast on 30 sts using both colours of yarn held together. This will give you 60 sts in total. Make sure that the colours stay in the same order as you're casting on (in my case, it looked like one ecru stitch follow by one navy stitch, one ecru, one navy, and so on).
2. Follow the chart, working right to left on the odd rows and left to right on the even rows. To double-knit, you k one colour (this will be the colour that shows on that side) and then p the next (it will show up on the other side as a k st), each time bringing both strands of yarn between the needles. When changing colour, simply k the contrasting coloured yarn on the front side and p the other colour of yarn, being careful not to twist the strands together.
3. After you've finished knitting up the whole chart (46 rows), you should have the image on one side and an inverse-colour mirror image on the other side. Bind off loosely in pattern by passing two strands of contrasting colour over the next two strands of contrasting colour. That is, you'll k one colour and p the next, and then pass the previous two k and p sts over the ones you just knit.
4. Weave in the ends.
5. With crochet hook and one of the yarn colours, make a sc border around the pot holder, making one st every two rows for the sides, one st for every st on the top and bottom, and increasing by one at the corners. Alternately, you can crochet a patterned border like those found here. I didn't try it myself, but I think it might be kind of funny to have extra-frilly Star Trek pot holders.
6. Ch 10 and turn, sl st in 1st sc. This will create the loop for hanging up the pot holders. Cut yarn and weave in ends.
Repeat for the second pot holder, only use the other colour of yarn for the sc border.
And voila! Pot holders for the extra-nerdy Suzy Home-maker in your life!