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Jan 032012

 At long last, the pattern for the Botanical Doubleknit Caplet with flowers is available.  If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that this was a work-in-progress for a long time – – partly because I knit two caplets  (one using Knit Picks Andean Treasure (directly below), and another using Alpaca with a Twist Baby Alpaca (at the end of this post)) – – and partly because I am indecisive and kept changing the placement of the flowers.  You might also be aware that doubleknitting is one of my most favorite knitting techniques.  In addition to doubleknitting being super warm and cozy (what with its double-thick fabric), it is also very stretchy (unlike stranded knitting), doesn’t have floats to disrupt the tension (unlike stranded knitting), and produces a reversible fabric (again, unlike stranded knitting).  Don’t get me wrong, stranded knitting and I are pretty tight, but doubleknitting and I are best buds.

Ravelry Pattern Page

Difficulty Level: Intermediate.  Pattern uses doubleknitting (explained in notes), decreasing in doubleknitting, working from charts, knitting in the round, and grafting using Kitchener Stitch.   This pattern includes detailed instructions on how to work doubleknitting and would be suitable for someone new to the technique.  Several of my testknitters had actually never worked doubleknitting before, and they were all able to successfully learn the technique using this pattern.

Sizes : To size, measure the circumference around the widest part of the chest plus arms, and add 2 inches.  Doubleknitting produces a very stretchy fabric, so if you are between sizes, go down a size. 
Caplet pictured is in size 35” / 89 cm and has 2” / 5 cm of positive ease

Chest (in) 35 40 44 48 52 56 62 66 70 75
Chest (cm) 89 102 112 122 132 142 158 168 178 191
Yarn: Approximate yards/meters in Sport Weight yarn 
Total Yards  1100 1110 1220 1330 1440 1550 1660 1770 1880 1990
Total Meters  916 1016 1116 1216 1316 1416 1516 1618 1718 1820
Yards Per Color 500 555 610 665 720 775 830 885 940 995
Meters Per Color 458 508 558 608 658 708 758 809 859 810

Recommended Yarn:

  • Knit Picks Andean Treasure (Sport weight, 100% alpaca, 110 yards / 100 meters per 50 gram skein)
Yarn A (Meringue Heather), # skeins 5 5 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 10
Yarn B (Royal Heather), # skeins 5 5 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 10


Needles: Two US 7 /4.5mm circular needles at least 24” / 60 cm in length (larger sizes will require a longer needle).   Second needle is needed for grafting portion of the hood.

Gauge: 20 doubleknit pairs of stitches by 24 rows = 4” x 4” / 10 x 10 cm in doubleknit stitch, after blocking.  Take time to check gauge.  See page 4 for information on making a swatch.

Notions: stitch markers (5), tapestry needle

This caplet is worked in the round from the bottom up and then uses raglan-style decreases over the shoulders to bring it in at the neck.  From there, the hood is worked back-and-forth (flat).  The only seaming involved is grafting the hood at the top.  It is recommended that you use two highly contrasting colors of yarn.  I worked both of my samples using alpaca, which results in very warm caplets.  The caplet above was worked using the Knit Picks Andean Treasure, which is a plied yarn, and the resulting fabric feels like it has a good amount of structure (not very drapey).  The one below uses Alpaca with a Twist Baby Alpaca (DK weight) and is a loosely plied yarn – – this fabric is much more drapey. 

I have found this to be a nice piece to have at the Day Job, where the office is always kept colder than I prefer.  Since I made two caplets, I have left one of them at the office and pull it over my shoulders when I start to get cold, usually pairing it with some fingerless mittens (fie, cold hands, fie!).  It is also a nice transitional accessory, for when it’s not cold enough for a coat or a huge sweater, but perfect with a long sleeve shirt for those in-between temperatures.

Ravelry Pattern Page

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