Saturday, October 1, 2011

Embellish Your Knits with Duplicate Stitch

Sometimes you don't want to do a big fairisle design and sometimes you might want to add a little something to your fairisle design.  Or maybe you have a special picture you want to add to your knit but you don't want to go to the trouble to program it into the machine.  Well, in those times, Duplicate Stitch may be your answer.   Its easy.   Look at the diagrams below and read the directions, easy peasy!

  1. Bring the needle up through the point of the beginning stitch and insert it behind the point of the stitch above it.
  2. Put the needle down through the beginning point and bring it up through the point of the next stitch.
  3. Pull the thread through and insert the needle behind the point of the next stitch on the row above.
  4. To begin the next row insert the needle into the base of the stitch directly above the last stitch made.
  5. It is easier to do this row if the garment is turned 180 degrees. Duplicate this stitch as you did on the previous row.
  6. To complete the first stitch on this row, your needle is inserted behind threads that have already been stitched.
  7. Work from right to left starting at the lower right. (opposite for left handed peole). The graphics are placed on the page in the manner in which you will be stitching. The numbers here coorespond to the numbers next to the graphics.
  8. We've found for best results, use DMC threads. Presoak the darker colors in white vinegar and water, allow to dry.
  9. On a standard (7 sts, 10 in) garment, 6 strands of DMC work great. Before you start, separate the 6 strands and then put them back together, this makes them stitch fuller. Krenik metallic threads work great also. (We haven't tried the new DMC Metallic Floss yet)
  1. Use cotton embroidery floss for your next duplicate stitch design, you'll be thrilled with the results.
  2. To make the floss fuller, separate the 6 strands, wet your index finger and thumb and run down the single strands. Then put the 6 strands back together again. This will make them fuller and the wet finger method will keep them from twisting.
  3. Make sure you have room in the designated area of the sweater to actually duplicate stitch your design. In other words, make sure there are enough stitches and rows.
  4. If you want to use a cross stitch pattern on your sweater, remember that cross stitch is square, knitted stitches aren't. To get the graph correct it's best to use knitters graph paper. Any variation in knitting gauge will change the picture but not too much if you stick to a standard gauge machine sweater but be sure to rechart again if you want to work with a bulky sweater.
  5. Before starting make absolutely sure your cotton floss doesn't run. To make sure, soak the floss in white vinegar and cold water and then rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse in cold water.
  6. Make sure you have enough thread to complete the picture. Floss comes in dye lots just like yarn. I once had to start completely over because of this little omission.
  7. Don't stick to just duplicate stitch. You can use French knots, running stitch, beads, buttons and charms to further enhance your sweater. You can even design a motif around charms or buttons.
  8. If you are going to make your own sweater, try making it textured but leave the section where you want the duplicate stitch plain. For instance a purl lattice design surrounding a blank section would look great combined with a flowered embroidery design. If you don't have a machine that will do textures, try using baby cables (1 x 1 twisted cables). Try separating the textured area and embroidery area with garter stitch, using the garter stitch as a border.
  9. Try combining duplicate stitch with machine embroidery stitches. This will look OK as long as the machine embroidery design is fairly open.
  10. Don't wash and dry or steam your finished garment until AFTER you've duplicate stitched the design. Machine washing and drying acrylic yarn sets the stitches and you want the duplicate stitch to "set" with the garment.
Feel free to make copies of this page for your personal use or for use in classes.
The following copyright notice must appear on all copies
Copyright © Rosalind Porter, Piney Mnt., 1997
The information, patterns and images contained on this page are for personal use and may not be altered, converted nor uploaded to any electronic system or BBS nor included in any compact disk (CD-ROM) or collection of any type

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ideas for my quilt

Last Saturday I had the extreme pleasure of attending a quilt show here in Traverse City, the best part of it was, it was right up the road from me.  I don't usually go to quilt shows because I really don't need a new hobby but everyone knows I've been working sporadically on a crazy quilt using my embroidery machine.   So--I have 11 squares finished and am wondering how I'm going to put them together. I thought maybe I'd find a few crazy quilts at the show and I didn't find a lot but found a couple and got other ideas from other quilts that I found.   I also shopped till I thought my feet were going to fall off and of course, bought some fabric to add to my stash and the niftyest (is that a word?)  flower arrangement made with buttons that I just had to get.    Here's a few pictures of what I found and unfortunately I ran out of room on the SD card so couldn't get a lot, doggone it.   I thought I had deleted everything on the card but oh well....  This is a  panel I bought that features Laurel Burch (my most favorite artist of all times).  Its a Christmas panel and all I have to do is add some quilt batting to the back, quilt around the edges of the pictures and add a backing.   I might even embellish some of the designs in the pictures.

Below is the button bouquet.   I have lots of buttons my husband made for me that aren't quite finished, I'm seriously thinking of finishing them and making my button bouquet with some of them and of course, adding some of my button collection to them as well.   Now its time for me to go visit some vintage shop for some vintage button.  Doggone it, I gave away my huge collection when I moved :-(.  I bought the florist wire stems from one of the quilt dealers at the show and she says you can get them at any florist shop (you probably knew that, right?)   If you look close you can see she sometimes has one button on top of another button, fabulous idea to decorate any room but mine is going into my sewing room. 

 A crazy quilt below. To the right of it is a close up that hopefully will give you an idea of how she finished the edges.                                                                              Above is a denim quilt, using squares of old denim jeans.  My Daughter-in-law has made a couple like this and I took the picture for her because this person embroidered designs in every square.  What a lot of work but what a fantastic quilt for teens (or anyone).

To the right is another crazy quilt, this lady calls it Globe Trotting and has fabrics that are taken from places they've visited throughout their lives. Sort of the same Idea I'm doing, I'm personalizing some of my squares with embroidery designs that are part of my life such as knitting needles, design of a cute white dog, spinning wheel, etc, so I loved that idea and I think the way she finished it is how I'm going to finish mine, with strips of fabric between.  Love the globe in the middle, I might have to do something like that.
Laurel Burch Christmas panel I bought, I plan on backing it with quilt batting and sewing around the squares and maybe around some of the designs to emulate a quilt and then add a backing to it. 

Below, beautiful goose sitting in a basket, all hand sewn
of course. I want to make one, it reminds me of the cement goose I used to knit clothes for,
Goosie Porter I used to call her.  It irritated some people on the knittingmachines group so I had to shut up about her :-(.   If I make one like this I think I'll use outdoor canvas for the fabric so she can sit out on my porch in the summer.  Of course I COULD knit her a hooded jacket for winter, right?

Above is a bunch of quilted squares with a border around each one.  I took a picture of this because I liked the idea of different colored fabrics surrounding each square.   Obviously I need all the ideas I can get to finish mine and this is a good one since my squares are all different colors as well.  

If you haven't seen my 11 finished Crazy Quilt squares, you can go to  to see what I've completed.   Of course I have a lot more to go and lots more ideas, I'm thinking I'll hang my quilt behind the head of my bed when its finished because my dog loves to lay on my bed and play on it, I can't allow that after all this sewing, now can I?      Here's one of the latest that I made with a white doggie design.   My dog, Biscuit almost always  lays on his back when he sleeps so I had to use this design for my "Biscuit" square.
Just in case you think I've quit knitting, think again.  My knitting room is moving to the master bedroom and master bedroom is moving to smaller spare room but first the master room needs to be painted so I can't knit till I get things re-arranged  but I am HKing every evening while I watch TV.  After all, I can't quit knitting, its too much of a habit for me.