Double Stockinette – the Squishy, No-Purl & No-Curl knitting stitch

The Stockinette Stitch is the most common knitting stitch pattern and we like it a lot, right? But, let me introduce its cousin, the Double Stockinette!

Double Stockinette is just as smooth and beautiful as the regular stockinette, and then some! Let me tell you the perks of Double Stockinette…

  • Say goodbye to curling edges, this stitch doesn’t curl. Not even a bit.
  • There’s no purling. Yes, you read that right. There’s no purling involved when knitting the Double Stockinette stitch.
  • Double Stockinette is just that, double, which means that both sides look alike. The Double Stockinette features the classic V-shaped stitches on both the back and front sides of the work.
  • Super squishy! This is a thicker, more squishy, and very stretchy fabric.
  • Double stockinette creates a double fabric. It’s like knitting stockinette in the round, but you work it back and forth.

Why isn’t this curling as regular Stockinette?

The reason the Stockinette Stitch curls at the edges are that the knit stitch has higher tension in it than the purl stitch. Therefore it pulls towards the knit side. In the Double Stockinette stitch, there are as many knit stitches on both sides of the fabric which make the tension even and the fabric flat.

What can I knit in Double Stockinette?

Double Stockinette can be used for a lot of things. It’s elastic enough to replace ribbing and can look really cute as cuffs for a sweater or cardigan design.

It’s squishy and elastic, perfect for the brim of a winter hat. Thicker, warmer and more elegant looking than a ribbing.

The lack of a wrong side makes it suitable for any project that’s double-sided, like scarfs. Or really warm and cuddly blankets.

How to knit the Double Stockinette stitch

The Double Stockinette stitch is super easy to do. All you have to know is how to cast on stitches, do knit stitches, slip stitches and bind off. Easy as pie!

Watch the video above, if you’re a visual learner, or read the instructions below!

This is how to do it:

  • Cast on an even number off stitches.
  • Repeat this row: (K1, sl1 wyif)

So, pull out a ball of yarn and your favorite pair of knitting needles and get started.

Cast on in multiples of two. I used the long tail cast on for this, it’s simple and I use it a lot.

As this is a stretchy stitch I held my needle tips together and added the stitches around both at the same time to get enough yarn for the edge to be able to stretch out. I do this when casting on for ribbing with this method as well.

Knit the first stitch and bring your yarn to the front. Then put your needle into the next stitch as if you were going to purl. Let the stitch slip over to your right needle without knitting it. Repeat this for all your stitches, and all your rows.

Here is what it looks like when I used the sl2tog, k1, PSSO decrease. I did three decreases with tre stitches apart.

How to decrease in double stockinette

Decreasing in double stockinette isn’t easy! At first, I tried the common k2tog and ssk but the result looked messy at the back. I also learned that two stitches have to be decreased at a time to keep the stitch pattern.

As double stockinette is a reversible stitch I think it’s important that the decreases look nice on both sides. 

The best way I have come up with this far is to make use a sl2tog, k1, PSSO, that mean to slip 2 stitches knit wise, knit one stitch and pass the slipped stitches over.

To make it look like the pictures above you need to begin the decrease when your next stitch is a knit stitch, otherwise you will get a completely different result!

sl2tog, K1, PSSO is a decorative decrease used on regular stockinette, on stockinette this way of decreasing creates a chain of knit stitches resting on top of the fabric. This can be used instead of making left and right leaning decreases in pairs, as it decreases two stitches.

In double stockinette, it looks like two existing columns of knit stitches disappear under a new column of knit stitches on the right side, and like one column of knit stitches disappear under two existing columns on the back.

You can see how this looks on the pictures above. I think it looks neat, especially on the wrong side, and it’s quite easy to perform as well!

sl2tog, K1, PSSO – what does it mean?

  • sl2tog is short for slip 2 together – slip 2 stitches at the same time, as if you were to knit them.
  • K1 means to knit 1 stitch
  • PSSO is short for Pass Slipped Stitches Over. This is done by inserting your left needle tip into the two stitches you slipped earlier and pass them over the one you knit. These two stitches are locked around the knit stitch and you have decreased two stitches.

Are you having a hard time remembering all the knitting abbreviations?
You’ll find a cheat sheet with 88 knitting abbreviations to download in this post!

 

There’s only one problem…

There’s a downside to this way of decrease. The two layers of fabric get stitched together so you can’t open up your work as a pocket after using the sl2tog, k1, PSSO.

This way of decreasing looks beautiful on a scarf. But if you’re planning on making a bag you need to make things a different way. Believe me, I have spent a good amount of time trying to solve this… but I couldn’t. 

Luckily, Sarah who runs the blog A Yarn Weaver’s Journey is a talented woman and she has cracked this nut for us! Head over to her blog and read ”The Curious Tale of Double Stockinette Stitch” if you need to decrease double stockinette without stitching the two sides together. 

Reading Tips:
––> Want to learn everything about the regular Stockinette Stitch? AND how to fight the curling edges?
––> Want to know more about slipped stitches? Then this post is for you: Knitting with Slipped Stitches

I have used the left-leaning M1BL to increase two stitches at the time.

How to increase double stockinette

After some trial and error I have found that the increases needs to be done two at the time, just as the decreases, to keep keep the stitch pattern intact.

I tried both increases that uses the bar between stitches, like M1L and M1R (make one left and make one right) as well as ones that uses an existing stitch like kfb (knit front and back).

Non of these worked very well because there simply wasn’t enough yarn, the stitches got really tight and crumpled up the fabric. I used a chunky merino yarn, maybe another yarn would be more forgiving.

The soulution:

The trick is to use working yarn for the increases, you can easily add two new stitches without the stitches getting too tight.

The increase I used is called M1BL (make one backward loop) and it can be done both right-leaning and left-leaning. It’s sometimes referred to as M1 right loop and M1 left loop.

This is basically just casting on new stitches. You make this by wrapping the working yarn around your left thumb. Insert the right needle tip in the loop created from beneath and let the wrap slip off your thumb, pull the yarn tighten the loop aka new stitch.

The way you wrap around your thumb determines which way the new stitch will lean.

  • Left-leaning: Wrap the yarn clockwise around your thumb. Hold the strand in your left hand and move your work clockwise around your left thumb with your right hand.
  • Right-leaning: Wrap the yarn counter-clockwise around your thumb. Hold the strand in your left hand and move your work clockwise around the left thumb with your right hand.

You can add as many stitches in a row as you like, this can also be used to make a “bridge” between two pieces of fabric or to add stitches at the end of a row. I mostly use this for adding stitches under the arms when knitting sweaters top-down, and sometimes for buttonholes.

Increasing stitches wont stitch the layers together as some decreases can do.

Double stockinette in the round

When knitting Double Stockinette in the round there are a couple of things you have to change to make it work.

The right side and the wrong side rows are worked the same way when knitting this stitch flat. This means that you have to add a wrong side row (and purling) to make it work in the round. Here’s how to do it:

Join in the round and mark out the start of the row with a stitch marker or a loop of scrap yarn.

First row: (K1, sl1 wyif)

Knit the first stitch and bring your yarn to the front. Then put your needle into next stitch as if you were going go purl it. Let the stitch slip over to your right needle without knitting it. Repeat this for your first row.

Second row: (sl1 wyib, P1)

When you reach your stitch marker you know you have finished your first row. Slip your marker over to the right needle and start the second row.

Bring your yarn to the back and slip one stitch as you were going to purl. then purl the next stitch. Repeat this to the end of the row.

Keep alternating the first and second row until your piece is long enough.

Reading tips:
––> If you’re not familiar with knitting in the round, this post shows how!
––> Need some circular knitting needles? Read this post!