Learn how to do duplicate stitch for knitting with this easy tutorial, it’s a great way to add pattern and colorwork to your knitting projects!
I really love knitting colorwork and fair isle patterns, it’s really enjoyable for me. But not everyone feels that way and that’s ok. There are also plenty of designs that don’t lend themselves to traditional fair isle knitting either. Particularly if they’re a centered design in a background field. You can generally use intarsia for that kind of design, but duplicate stitch is a lot easier!
I also have recently been really enjoying embroidery. I find it very relaxing (as long it’s not too complicated) so I thought I’d also work on my duplicate stitch knitting skills.
What is duplicate stitch?
Duplicate Stitch (also known as Swiss Darning) for knitting is when you use a length of yarn in a contrasting color to embroider new knit stitches on top of a field of stockinette stitch to create a design, motif or pattern. It is called duplicate stitch because you are literally duplicating knit stitches you have already made.
Why do you use Duplicate Stitch for knitting?
Duplicate stitch is great because it can be added to a project AFTER it is completed. That makes the original project faster and easier to complete and you don’t need to juggle multiple strands/colors of yarn as you go.
Duplicate stitch can be used to correct mistakes in colorwork so you don’t have to rip your project back and redo it.
Duplicate stitch (Swiss darning) can also be used to reinforce and repair worn knitting (like a sock, for example).
How do you read a duplicate stitch chart?
Transferring your duplicate stitch design to your knitting project is very similar to counted cross stitch. Duplicate stitch is done over a field of stockinette stitch and each v-shaped stitch is equivalent to one square on the chart. For each square, stitch one duplicate stitch.
Tips and Tricks for Knitting Duplicate Stitch
- Use a yarn that is the same weight (or just slightly thicker) as the main project yarn to do your duplicate stitches
- Mark your duplicate stitches with a disappearing ink fabric pen or stitch markers if you’d like
- Work adjacent duplicate stitches horizontally in rows (or vertically but go bottom up for best results)
How To Do Duplicate Stitch for Knitting
- Thread your yarn/tapestry needle with a length of yarn. Bring the needle up through your project from wrong side to right at the base of one stitch (the bottom of the V-shape of a single knit stitch).
(Check out my guide to counting stitches to find one single knit stitch)
- Pull the yarn through, then insert the needle under both legs of the stitch above as shown here:
- Pull the yarn through, you have completed one half of the duplicate stitch. Next insert the needle back where you started at the base of the stitch.
- You have completed one duplicate stitch!
- Repeat with the next closest stitch in your pattern
Tell me if you have any duplicate stitch tips and tricks that I didn’t mention! If you want a super in-depth take on duplicate stitch for knitting, check out this post.
If you liked this, you may also like some of my other posts…