Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mitten, 2 Color, Double Bed Jacquard, Birdseye Backing

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)
I just finished a pair of mittens in double bed jacquard that I really like and want to share with you.  I like the looks of fairisle but don’t do much of it because of dealing with the yarn floats carried on the back.  So unless I use a pattern with no more than 3 or 4  stitch floats, I usually don’t do fairisle.  DBJ is the perfect answer for smaller items for me.  It gives a nice double thickness fabric, warm for our cold winters, and no floats to deal with.  DBJ might be a bit heavy for garments though.
I’m going to focus on my pattern for the mittens right now….I plan to do a quick down and dirty tutorial on dbj in another post soon. 
I designed the stitch pattern in DK7, using Stitchworld pattern #20 for the hand and a 1x1 column of alternating colors in the cuff.  The cuff is not ribbed but done in dbj at two tensions tighter than the hand.  The mitten is made with 2 identical pieces, a front and back, and seamed together.  The thumb is knit separately and mattress stitched in the side seam above the cuff.  If I had more patience and could assure myself that I could resume the pattern, I would do the thumb gusset in one piece.  But mattress stitching it in worked well for me.
Seaming in dbj is quite easy actually.  Work a mattress stitch on the edges of the public side and it leaves very little bulk on the inside and is quite invisible on the public side.  It took me a bit to ‘see’ the stitches to pick up while mattressing, so look for the ladder st between the layers of fabric.
I worked the thumb in fairisle because I didn’t want to deal with all the increases in dbj but I will work on that when I have the fortitude and patience.  After I knit each row, I hung the longer yarn floats on a needle above to prevent thumb snags on the floats.
One last comment I want to make about dbj is to make a swatch, launder and dry as you would the finished item, then take your gauge measurements.  My length of my finished mitten shortened a bit;  my theory is that the heavy ribber weights stretched the stitches as I knit.  Washing and drying brought them back into shape nicely.  But of course this will depend on the yarn being used.  So do yourself a favor and swatch, launder and dry before measuring for gauge.
So….here goes.  If you see any glaring mistakes or have questions, please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get right on it.

MITTENS, 2 color DBJ, Birdseye Backing  
Size:  Woman’s Medium, 7.5” L without cuff
Machine:  Brother KH965i and KR850 ribber
Yarn:  Main Color WEBs Sock yarn on cone
          Contrast Color 5th Avenue Funky sock yarn
Tension: T7 in hand, T5 in dbj cuff
Gauge:  Approx 8 sts, 20 rows = 1”

1)  CO 28 sts as for dbj, pitch H5, ribber slide lever on 'lili' or ‘II’ for a tighter cuff.  (Must be even sts on ea bed)
2)  T1, K across from L to R for zig zag row, hang CO comb and 2 large ribber weights; T2, set carriages for circular and K2R; T5, K1R across all needles, past the L turn mark and  into the color changer.  COL.
3)   Set machine for dbj and K21 pattern rows after the foundation cast on rows.  (43 rows on RC)

1)   T7, ribber slide lever on ‘lili’, K in dbj pattern to RC156.  (79 rows in dbj pattern)  COR. 
2)   Make all decreases when COR.  Keeping in pattern, decrease fingertips by 2 sts with 3 prong tool on each side of each bed.  To decrease 2 sts on each bed, use 3 prong tool and move the outermost 3 sts in 2 needles.  There will be 2 sts on ndls 2 and 3 on both beds.
3)  K4R,  remembering to keep in pattern and changing yarn when carriage is on the left hand side.  Be sure to keep an even number of stitches on both beds and empty needles moved to out of work before knitting across. 
4)   Dec fingertip down to 8 sts ending with RC175 and COL.
5)   Discontinue DBJ patterning and set carriages back to plain knitting.  Transfer ribber sts to corresponding main bed needles.  There will be 2 sts on ea needle. 
6)   T6, K1R across.
7)   Scrap off with several rows of waste yarn for grafting later.

Make 2 identical pieces, however you may use a different pattern for the other side if you choose.  

THUMB:   Make 2  (Worked in fairisle using the same fairisle pattern as the hand)
1)   Begin with WY and ravel cord, hang weights and e-wrap 3 sts.
2)   RC000, T7, K3R with a single strand of yarn.   
3)   Set machine and yarns for fairisle patterning.
4)   Increase 1 st on carriage side of every row until 26 sts by bringing out one ndl to upper working position before knitting across.
5)   Knit even in fairisle patterning to RC048.  Then discontinue fairisle and set machine back to plain knitting.
6)   Cut one yarn and continue with only one strand.  Dec sts to EON across.  Move all empty needles out of work.
7)   T3, K1R, gather and secure.

Graft fingertips, mattress st side seams leaving a space in one side seam for the thumb. To fit the thumb in, I seamed the cuff first then positioned the thumb and sewed it in with mattress st, up one side and down the other. The thumb sts may need to be eased in to fit the opening.

This is an example of birdseye backing, set with the 'lili' buttons.  It's kind of hard to pick the pattern out with the varigated yarn, but birdseye knits every other stitch alternating on each row, like a checkerboard pattern.  For ribbers without 'lili' buttons, the backing will be striped, one color per row.    


  1. I bow to you. Now you are also the queen of mittens!

  2. Thank you ,Sandy, for pattern!

    1. You're very welcome. Hope you try them.

    2. Very nice, Sandy. A perfect project for those who want to try dbj. Thanks for sharing the pattern!

  3. I love this, and I just discovered your blog today! I'm impressed! :)

  4. Oh I have to try this! thanks for the pattern xx

  5. You're welcome. I need to make a few more pair but no time right now; probably will think of them when the snow flies tho. ☺

  6. Hello! This is wonderful, they turned out lovely. I'm curious: did you use a color changer? Do you know how to do double bed jacquard without one? I'm itching to try this, but I don't have one... Thanks!

    1. Thank you so much for the nice compliments. Yes, I did use a color changer BUT one is not necessary. A color changer is just one of those gadgets that makes our knitting life a bit more convenient and quicker. It attaches to the left hand side of the machine and each time the carriage is on the left, the yarn gets changed in the carriage to the second color. You can do 2 color dbj relatively easy without the color changer, just remove the yarn from the carriage and 'park' it somewhere out of the way that it won't get tangled with the carriage and then replace it with the 2nd color in the carriage . I think it would be a bit confusing to manually change yarns with a 3 or more color dbj pattern tho. I used a variegated yarn as the contrasting color in these mittens so I only used 2 yarns and it could quite easily be done by manually changing yarns each time the carriage is on the left. Let me know if you have more questions on it.

  7. These mittens have been on my todoolist for seven years now. Next winter I hope.

  8. I am wanting to learn DBJ and finding you blog is a blessing! Thanks for putting all this together on DBJ. Now for me to get knitting!

    1. Thank you for the nice comments. Yes, get knitting!!! Lol.