December 12 – TwelveTwelveTwelve

So it’s 12.12.12 and I couldn’t resist posting something repetitive today. After scratching my head trying to think of something appropriate as well as useful, I decided duplicate stitch fit the bill.

You might be wondering exactly what duplicate stitch is. It is where you replicate stitches on top of a knitted piece with yarn and a tapestry needle. You basically “trace” over the stitch with another piece of yarn.  It is an important tool when knitting intarsia. For example, when I shared the picture of my See the USA sweater the other day, I did not knit every single stitch in intarsia.
Much of the small detail on these flags have been added using duplicate stitch. It isn’t cheating. Trying to knit all of these tiny, one stitch area of colors using intarsia would be a nightmare and not look nice.
Back when intarsia picture sweaters were the hot style, it was quite popular for people to buy a plain sweater then add designs to it using duplicate stitch. This was a way for someone to create a picture sweater without having to learn more advanced knitting techniques (or even know how to knit at all!)
I never was a fan of this look, in that duplicate stitching designs all over a sweater made it quite heavy and it isn’t designed to cover large areas of color very well. The background color will peek through and not look that great.  But if you didn’t know how to knit, I guess this was an improvement over not having a sweater at all.
Another great application of duplicate stitch is correcting mistakes. I can cut a hole in a sweater and repair it by using duplicate stitch. I can also fix split stitches and a whole host of other issues. It isn’t as simple as covering it up, in that when I’m through you would never know there was a mistake. I would consider this a more advanced maneuver, so practice your duplicate stitch and maybe I’ll show you sometime.
So today (and today only) I am sharing an excerpt from our Intarsia book on duplicate stitch.  It is a great way to add a little picture, motif or even a name to something you’ve knit.
Download this excerpt today for it will gone tomorrow. If you are interested in learning how to knit intarsia, I can honestly say we wrote the book on how to do it…and do it well!  Available in the shop and online anytime.

1 Comment

  • prairiegl

    12.12.2012 at 09:01 Reply

    Thank you for these instructions! Even though I don’t often wear mittens, I’ve been pondering a pair with snowflakes on them and duplicate stitch might work well for that.

Post a Comment