So I’ve come up with something I’ve tentatively named the 3 Needle Full Stitch and I thought I’d post a link to a quick video I made and include the instructions to see if any of you guys have seen something like it before or would like to give it a go. It’s a knitting technique I based off of Tunisian Crochet Full stitch. The end result isn’t crochet but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything knit this way either. It makes a really interesting, dense, double-layered fabric. I’d dig any input.
This technique requires three straight needles or DPNs of the same size. You’ll want to use one of your “sticky” kinds of needles and you’ll want to use a size or two larger than you usually would for your yarn. For my swatch, I used size 8 bamboo DPNs.
To start, take one of your needles (the left needle) and, using the longtail technique, cast on any number of stitches you’d like.
Wrong Side Row: Pick up a second needle, this will be your right needle. Use your right needle to purl the first stitch off of the left needle. Then, take a third need and hold it against the back of your work (on “right” side of the work) at a spot between your left and right needle. When that’s in place, take your active yarn and wrap it around the third needle once counterclockwise. Then take your right needle and purl the second stitch off of the left hand needle. Now bind off one stitch on the right hand needle by passing the older stitch on the right hand needle over the newer stitch, leaving one live stitch. Then you’re going to wrap your active yarn around the third needle, use the right needle to one stitch off of the left hand needle, and then bind off one stitch on the right hand needle by passing the oldest purl stitch on the right needle over the newest purl stitch. Continue in this fashion until the end of the row. When you have worked all of the stitches, you will be left with one live stitch on the right hand needle. Transfer this to the third needle without twisting it. This will give you a slip stitch selvedge and also maintain the stitch count for each row. You will now have the same number of stitches as you originally cast on sitting on your third needle. You’ll have worked the right and left needles free.
Now, for the right side row. Turn your work. The needle all your stitches are sitting on (which was the third needle in the wrong side row) is now your left hand needle. Pick up a right needle and knit the first stitch off of the left needle. Now hold the third needle at the front of your work (on the “right side”) between the right and left needles. Wrap the yarn around this third needle and use the right needle to knit another stitch off of the left hand needle. Bind one stitch off of the right hand needle and continue the same way you did for the wrong side row. You will wrap the third needle at the front of the work in between each knit stitch you bind off. At the end, you will be left with one live stitch on your right hand needle. Transfer it to the third needle without twisting it and turn your work.
Continue working these two rows until your work reaches desired length. End on wrong side row and bind off. You’ll want to use something elastic like a sewn bind off (I suggest Elizabeth Zimmerman’s bind off or the Outline Stitch Sewn Bind Off).
3 Needle Full Stitch
-Cast on any number of stitches
-Wrong Side Row: P1, *wrap yarn around third around needle held behind the work, P1 off of left hand needle, pass first P over new P and off of right needle* repeat until end of row ending in one lived stitch on right needle, slip stitch onto third needle without twisting it, turn work.
– Right Side Row: [The third needle from the previous row is now your left hand needle] K1, *wrap yarn around a third needle held at the front of the work, pass firs K over new K and off the right needle* repeat until end of row ending with one live stitch on right needle, slip stitch onto third needle without twisting it, turn work.
– Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until work reaches desired length. End on wrong side row. Bind off knitwise on the front of the work.
The directions look more complicated the actual process is. I had a hard time finding a way to describe
it with usual knitting pattern terms but really all of it can all be broken down into parts that knitters should already be familiar with. After only a few rows, there is a definite rhythm that makes this go by faster than you’d think. It’s sort of like you’re just doing a yarn over bind off all the way around but you keep your yarn overs on a third needle rather than work them with your main needles.
Be careful how you wrap the yarn around the third needle. Whether you are wrapping the left needle for knit stitches or purl stitches or you are wrapping the third needle, you will ALWAYS wrap the yarn counterclockwise (this is assuming you are working western style stitches, for eastern style stitches, you’ll wrap everything clockwise).
The third needle is always held against the right side of the work because this is where the new loops need to be. The binding off stitches will always be on the wrong side of the work.
As for how to hold the third needle, for the first few wraps of each row, I suggest holding the right needle and third needle together with your left hand. After this, the third needle will be fairly anchored by the wraps and you can let go of it while you work with the right and left needles.