Although the origin of the name Condo Knitting is unknown, the technique has been passed from knitter to knitter since the Age of Disco in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is probable that condo knitting is descended from the lacy, but sagging, knitted ponchos of the Hippie Era.
The stitches made with condo knitting are similar to ones made with "yarn-around", a technique that makes lacy knitting by wrapping yarn around the needle and then dropping the excess yarn to make a large open stitch. Condo knitting makes the lacy effect easier to knit by using a big needle, a smaller needle, and normal knitting stitches with no yarn wrapping. The stitches from the big needle are loose and lacy, and the stitches from the small needle provide stability.
Make a Basic Condo Knit Scarf for Practice
Supplies: One set of small knitting needles, one larger needle, yarn from your stockpile
- Cast on enough stitches for the width you want for your scarf.
- Make a few rows of garter stitch with both small needles to stabilize the ends.
- Knit a row of stitches with the small needle.
- Purl a row of stitches with the large needle.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the knitting is long enough to make a scarf.
- Every few rows, tug the stitches away from the needle to keep them even.
- Finish with a few rows of garter stitch with both small needles.
- Bind off the end, and make fringe if you want to.
Accenting a Pattern With Condo Knitting
The stitches of condo knit are lacy and stretchy, so they are best used where the peek-a-boo through the stitches will not shock the neighbors and where stretch will not affect the garment's fit. Garments with straight lines such as tunics and pullovers will give better results than fitted sweaters. You can alternate a few rows of knitting on small needles with a row or two of condo knit on the midriff or sleeves of a sweater. Or, you can make the collar of a turtleneck sweater with condo knit.
Condo Knitting Tips:
- The larger needle is usually 3 to 5 times fatter than the small needle. Experiment with different combinations, because every combination produces a different effect.
- Boldly textured or fuzzy yarns make more interesting condo knits than plain yarns.
- Keep the yarn tension loose, but even.