Armenian knitting is my new favorite color work technique! I’ve always loved to knit color work hats! According to Ravelry, I’ve got 297 projects in my hat folder. Of those, 111 have some sort of color work…stripes, intarsia, fair isle, duplicate stitch…and my new favorite…the Armenian hats!
Armenian knitting is a technique that gives you the look of intarsia but allows you to work in the round. Of my 297 hats, I’ll bet fewer than 20 of them were knit flat and seamed. A seam leaves an unsightly lump in hats. I’m not a fan. I do love a good bit of intarsia though. The trick to this technique is carrying both colors throughout the entire garment and trapping the unused color in the back ever couple stitches to eliminate long floats.
The result is a thick, tweedy fabric. The thickness comes from the extra strand carried along the back and the tweed comes from the way the traps show through the fabric. Instead of labeling the bits of color showing through a flaw, in this case we call it a design feature! I love it! It’s a really super fabric!
Here’s a quick video featuring Eunny Jang demonstrating the technique. She’s a bit more ambitious than I am, trapping every other stitch. I trapped every 3rd or 4th stitch. I also work my yarns reversed…main color – continental/left hand, contrast color – english/right hand. To trap in that fashion, you insert your right hand needle into the stitch on the left (as normal), then you wrap your contrast color from the right hand (don’t knit yet), then you wrap your main color from the left hand (still don’t knit yet), then you unwrap the contrast color from the right hand and finally, you knit your main color as usual. It’s extra steps in the wrap phase but it allows me to knit continental most of the time.
Part of the reason I’m drawn to this technique is the two handed style. After many years (decades really!) knitting english, I’ve switched to continental. It’s been a nice way to bridge the two styles! I’m putting together a tutorial on the technique because I love it so much. I’m on a mission to convert every knitter I meet!! I’m also writing up the pattern for the hats I’ve been making so stay tuned for more Armenian Knitting!!
(My cassette tape nostalgia goes on…)