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!
- Bring the needle up through the point of the beginning stitch and insert it behind the point of the stitch above it.
- Put the needle down through the beginning point and bring it up through the point of the next stitch.
- Pull the thread through and insert the needle behind the point of the next stitch on the row above.
- To begin the next row insert the needle into the base of the stitch directly above the last stitch made.
- It is easier to do this row if the garment is turned 180 degrees. Duplicate this stitch as you did on the previous row.
- To complete the first stitch on this row, your needle is inserted behind threads that have already been stitched.
- 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.
- We've found for best results, use DMC threads. Presoak the darker colors in white vinegar and water, allow to dry.
- 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)
- Use cotton embroidery floss for your next duplicate stitch design, you'll be thrilled with the results.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Try combining duplicate stitch with machine embroidery stitches. This will look OK as long as the machine embroidery design is fairly open.
- 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.
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Copyright © Rosalind Porter, Piney Mnt., 1997-1999.