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 two yarns held together
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SkeinHerder
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
385 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  2:44:19 PM  Show Profile Send SkeinHerder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm making an afghan for my soon to be MIL for christmas. When I went to my LYS they did not have a super bulky yarn, but told me to I could knit two strands together. I've not knitted this way before. Now that I'm ready to start knitting it, I'm not so sure. This is my first time doing cables and I'm not sure I want to hold two strands together. Oh ya, this is the first time I'm meeting my MIL. The love of my life is British and I'm going to England for the first time this Christmas.

I received a yarn cataloge in the mail this week and saw where I could buy super bulky yarn. Any suggestions? Tips for cables and/or knitting with two strands would be helpful.

Thanks,
S:)

Happiness is an inside job.

Dottie Mae
Chatty Knitter

USA
155 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  5:32:09 PM  Show Profile Send Dottie Mae a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fear not holding two strands together. Two can work as easily as one. Once you start, you will not notice that there are two strands. Why not swatch the two yarns in your pattern stitch for a few inches to see whether you like the effect?
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Mickey
Permanent Resident

USA
1670 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2007 :  6:43:17 PM  Show Profile Send Mickey a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Knitting with two strands is nothing to worry about. Just try it and you'll see.
But: Cables in super bulky yarn might make an awfully thick and heavy fabric. If that's what you want, great, but be sure to knit a swatch and visualize a whole afghan like it. Is it primarily warmth you're after? Cables in worsted or aran weight wool (superwash maybe) will be very warm and cozy without the bulk. Alpaca and mohair are even warmer.
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mertle
Permanent Resident

USA
1734 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2007 :  02:30:34 AM  Show Profile Send mertle a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I knit with 2 strands held together all the time on my bags. It's not hard at all. For convenience, I even wind them together with my ball winder, but winding so both strands are the same tension on the skein took some practice for me.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mickey about the bulk and the cables. A swatch would be a must for me here.

Good luck - with both the afghan AND the in-laws!

Marilyn
Check out my bags here.
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SkeinHerder
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
385 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2007 :  09:37:54 AM  Show Profile Send SkeinHerder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the advice. I've got worsted weight yarn. I planned to do a swatch but did not think about doing one with two strands and one with just the single strand. I'll see how it goes. I plan to start this weekend.

S:)

Happiness is an inside job.
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llinn
honorary angel

USA
1650 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2007 :  2:59:04 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Stranding multiples is generally how all heavy yarns are manufactured - just twist is added to keep them together and at the same tension.

Overall, holding 2 strands of 4ply worsted together will give you a bulky/super bulky weight with a gauge of about 2.5-3 st. per inch. on 10.5 or 11 needles. Like everything else, this is a rough rule of thumb--not even a true convention. Bulky is an especially loose concept and can be almost anything.

Over the years my merry little band of heretics has found that one strand of 4ply with one strand of baby or pompador makes a really nice weight on 10 1/2 needles. 4ply with a sport or DK weight goes nice on 11s, and double worsted works up nicest on 13s.

This is presuming you are a knitter of average tightness who gets gauge every time with the recommended needle size. If you usually go up or down, follow your usual behavior.

What this all does is let you have a wild time with color. Take a thin but highly colored hand paint and pair it with a thickish heavy mohair with lots of halo. The color runs will mute down and the appearance of pooling will be lessened or go away. If you can actually get close to the value of one color, that color will disapper and the yarn will look more like a pointelle dye than a paint. Use a thick variegated yarn and mix it with a thin shiny yarn in a matching or complementary color. The shiny bits will just pop out here and there, making the knit fabric look deeper. Use 2 solid colors in close shades, the knit fabric will develop a "surface" like a moire ribbon with illusion shades and swoops of color.

There's almost unlimited color options when you figure that you can double baby or fingering weight to get a light worsted and so could use as many as 7 or 8 strands of laceweight to get a true bulky.

Really big (ridiculously so like size 35 or 50 KN and size Q crochet hooks) can handle 5 strands of 4ply and make an very modernistic graphic statement so long as it is properly fastened (hint: you need fabric glue)

Honestly, I've been telling people for 27 years, the knitting police are all dead. I poisoned every one and they are buried in my basement under the bricks. You don't have to let anyone tell you what to do or how to do it. Have fun with anything you can think of.
Good luck.

Llinn
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SkeinHerder
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
385 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2007 :  3:44:06 PM  Show Profile Send SkeinHerder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks Llinn, that was very helpful. I think the pattern calls for size 13 needles. I'm really very excited now to try some of your suggestions!

S:)

Happiness is an inside job.
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PamelaA3
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
476 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2007 :  10:25:52 AM  Show Profile Send PamelaA3 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Someone posted this several years ago and I find it works pretty well. When trying to figure stitches per inch using two strands of a yarn, multiply the ball band gauge X .72 on your calculator. This gives a close guess of gauge for two strands of that particular yarn. I also knit close to ball band gauge and it works for me. Yarn that says 7.5 stitches per inch give me 5.5 or around 5.47 close to DK weight. Then you can fine tune it. You will need to use the needle size of the yarn weight you are aiming for, in this case I used 4mm which is most requested for DK weight yarn. Play with doubling yarns and you will notice that each lighter weight doubled tends to give you the next weight thicker. See if you like the feel of the fabric, how it drapes, not too stiff and not limp. Change needles sizes and work a few more rows up or down and compare the fabric.

Good Luck,

Pam, in Raleigh
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pyewackett
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
388 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2007 :  6:43:02 PM  Show Profile Send pyewackett a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by llinn

Honestly, I've been telling people for 27 years, the knitting police are all dead. I poisoned every one and they are buried in my basement under the bricks.



All of a sudden I got the image of the two aunts in "Arsenic and Old Lace," with all the "yellow fever victims" buried in their cellar. You don't make elderberry wine, do you, Llinn?

- pye
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llinn
honorary angel

USA
1650 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2007 :  1:47:32 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nah, I went straight for the ricin.

Llinn
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kristajo
Gabber Extraordinaire

Canada
436 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2007 :  4:25:48 PM  Show Profile Send kristajo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another thing to keep in mind when stranding 2 (or more) yarns is the physical weight of the finished object. For example, say you like a sweater pattern using Rowan's "Big Wool". It's a super chunky yarn, and you can achieve the same gauge using 2 or 3 strands of other yarns, BUT.... "Big Wool" is a very light, fluffy, loosely spun yarn. 2+ strands of heavier, more tightly spun yarn will weigh quite a bit more. The sweater may sag and stretch.

This is less of a problem with an afghan, where the only real side effect will be increased warmth. In most climates, that would be a bonus. Still, something to think about.

Cheers,

Krista Jo
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