How To Knit With Two Strands Of Yarn Together

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In this blog post, you will learn how to knit with two strands of yarn together.

Knitting with two strands together is a useful knitting technique with many benefits.

Sometimes your yarn might be too thin for your project, or you want to add more color to your project, or texture.

In any case, double knitting is the way to go!

You can also find double-stranded yarn ready to buy or you can make your own!

To learn everything about knitting check out these knitting lessons and you might find the post or the video tutorial you need.

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How to knit with two strands together

Add Thickness to Your Project

Maybe the yarn you already have at home is thinner than the project demands, or you got just the perfect color or the perfect fibers but your project needs a thicker yarn. 

You could either try to find the same yarn in a heavier weight, so use the yarn you already have and knit with two yarn strands together.

It’s easy to use two strands of yarn knit together to achieve the thickness you want.

And by doing this you can add thickness to the finished fabric, which can make it warmer. 

I often use two strands of yarn together if the yarn is DK (for 4 mm / US 6 needles) and I want a chunkier look, I may put two or more together and use bigger knitting needles.

It’s important to remember that you will need to make a gauge swatch to make sure your project is going to end up the way you want. 

And you might need to use a bigger knitting needle set than the recommended needle size for the yarn, in order for the stitches to look like the pattern.

Watch the tutorial here on my YouTube channel

How-To-Knit-With-Two-Strands-Of-Yarn-Together

Double Knitting Weights Guide 

​Every yarn of the same weight is different and the end result depends on a lot of variables like brand, quality, and fiber content. 

But a good rule of thumb is that;

  • Two strands of lace weight yarn (0) equal one strand of fingering weight yarn(1).
  • Two strands of fingering-weight yarn (1) equal a single strand of fine weight yarn (2) (sport weight yarn, baby weight yarn).
  • Two strands of fine weight yarn (2) equal one strand of light weight yarn (3) (DK-weight yarn, worsted weight yarn).
  • Two strands of light weight yarn (3) equal a single strand of worsted weight yarn (4) (aran weight yarn, Afgan weight yarn, medium weight yarn).
  • Two strands of worsted weight yarn (4) equal one strand of bulky weight yarn (5) (chunky weight yarn).
  • Two strands of bulky weight yarn (5) equal a single strand of super bulky weight yarn (6) (super chunky weight yarn).
  • Two strands of super bulky yarn (6) equal one strand of jumbo weight yarn (7). 

You can see an example of a cardigan knit with two strands of yarn here.

Rico creative cotton aran in Patina knit with two strands together

Adding In More Than One Colour

Using more than one strand of yarn is also good if you want to work with different colors of yarn.

Combining two yarns of different colors can give your work an interesting look and can make it look more textured.

You can mix a match any color you like and create your own unique marled effect.

By using yarns of different colours you can make a pattern look one of a kind every single time.

You can use only two or add new colors creating lovely marls all over the work. 

You can see many examples of this in knitted blankets, dishcloths, sweaters, and shawls.

Adding Texture To Your Project

You can also work with two yarns that are of a similar color but are made from different fibers.

This can give an interesting texture to your knitting projects, for example; if you want to mix a strand of mohair and a strand of wool.

I have tried this before and it works really well, especially if you want to add mohair into your work for a little bit of fuzz!

What kind of fibers you decide to mix depends on your personal preference.

You can see an example of two yarns knit together to give texture in this arm warmer pattern here.

Mrs fitz arm warmers knitting pattern Outlander
Arm warmers – knit with 1 strand of wool and 1 strand of mohair together

Getting In a Tangle

The problem with working with two yarns together is that they can get really tangled up together because they twist as you knit.

These are some easy ways to avoid the mess and frustration.

The strands of yarn twist together as you work, which means you have to stop every so often and untangle them. 

One way to solve this problem is to wind the two yarns together into a new ball of yarn before you start.

This is easy enough if you have a yarn swift and ball winder in your arsenal!

Another way to get around this problem is to place each ball into a yarn bowl or Ziploc bag and feed the yarn through a hole.

This will limit the twisting and make it easier for you to knit.

A knitting bag can also solve this problem, many knitting bags are designed with separate compartments to keep the balls of yarn from meeting and little holes on the top for your working yarn to escape. 

This is a great way to stop the two different yarns from tangling. 

If you don’t have two skeins of yarn you can separate the one skein and wind it into two balls. 

Or you can use that one skein of yarn working with the yarn tail and your starting point. 

Check Out 21 Yarns Bags You Might Like!

oversized cardigan knit in cotton yarn
Cardigan – knit with two strands of cotton together.

Knitting With Two Strands

When you knit with two strands of yarn together, it is the same as working with only one strand.

Just make sure that you are knitting into both loops and that you do not drop any – as this can cause problems later on.

Each new stitch should be worked as if you are knitting into one stitch (even though you have two loops on the needle).

If you do drop a stitch and you try to pick it up later, you will get a long strand of yarn across your project.

You can pick up any dropped stitches in the same way that you normally would, by using a crochet hook.

Video Tutorial

You can view the video tutorial on my YouTube channel here.

How Much Will I Need?

When you are double knitting it’s easy to calculate how much yarn you will need.

​Refer back to the pattern you are working on and double the amount. 

Remember when playing around with a lot of variables like fiber content, yarn brand, and even yarn weight there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind in order to calculate the amount of yarn you need.

So you might end up needing more yarn in some cases. 

A Gauge Swatch Will Save Your Project!

Just remember to do a swatch to make sure you have the right gauge for the project before committing.

Making different swatches is great for testing out different combinations.

Mix different colors or different fibers to test out what you like.

Happy Knitting!

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9 Comments

  1. Hi! Thanks so much for this. What size do you recommend using if you knit with double strands? For example, the yarn I’m planning on using asks for 7-9 size needles. What size needles would be best for 2 strands of that yarn?

    Thank you!

    1. Hello Cassie,
      If you want to knit with two strands together, it depends on what you are making for me to be able to recommend a needle size and yarn weight.
      For example if you wanted to make something that requires bulky weight yarn knit on size 8mm (US 11) needles, you could put two strands of worsted weight or Aran weight yarn together.
      If you are using US size 7-9 needles – then you could knit with 2 strands of sport weight/fine weight yarn together or a sock yarn/fingering.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  2. Hi Louise,
    If I was to use Lion Brand Wool- Ease Thick and Quick 170g for your cable knit Blanket pattern, how many balls of wool would I need to purchase?
    Also could you please explain row 7 to me
    *P3, C6F, rep from *
    This is all new to me and I am quite excited to give it a try

    Thank you
    Michelle

    1. Hello Michelle, the blanket uses around 1,706 yards/13 skeins of Yarn Art Alpine Alpaca at 150g each so if you use the Lion Brand wool ease thick and quick yarn – at 170g each you will need around 12 skeins.
      Row 7 – *P3, C6F, rep from * – means that you will repeat Purl 3, cable 6 forward to the end of the row.
      I hope you enjoy knitting the banket 🙂
      Louise

  3. Hi,
    Hope you can help. I plied up 2 strands of fine yarn from a machine knitting cone using a ball winder and am now trying to knit with it. Unfortunately it has taken on so much twist it keeps doubling up on itself and twisting. Is there any way to cure this or prevent it in the future.

    1. Hello Helen,
      You could try placing the caked yarn into a Ziploc bag and closing as much as you can, leaving the strands out – this may help to keep it from tangling up and twisting together when you are knitting.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  4. After I left a comment on your site I found another with reference to a Spinning yarn holder / yarn unwinder / yarn valet on Amazon. Some are quite expensive but others quite reasonable. And I even found a site where the guy made one out of Conex constuction toy ( I think that’s how it was spelt I’ve lost the page now). I’ve ordered one and I’ll let you know how it goes

  5. I’m hours and hours into a baby blanket that is double knit. I just noticed that I dropped one yarn strand, of one stitch, a number of rows back. I really don’t want to undo hours of work to fix it. Any idea how I can fix it? Thank you for your time!

    1. Hello Whitney,
      To save a stitch that has been dropped, you can use a crochet hook to weave the stitch up through the work and back into place on your knitting needle.
      This can save a lot of time!
      I hope that helps,
      Louise