How to do Duplicate stitch - A step by step guide.

Duplicate stitch - Step by Step 

Duplicate stitch is a wonderful technique you can use to place designs onto the top of knitting. It is a great way to add colour work without having to work it while knitting or to embellish old pieces of knitting. You can design your own patterns by using knitters graph paper and the possibilities are only limited by your imagination! Here are the steps you while need to learn how to work this. Have fun!

Gather your materials:  

layout of materials needed for duplicate stitch
For this you will need:
A charted design
Tapestry needle
Lengths of coloured yarn. 

It can be hard to judge how much yarn you will need for a pattern but for small designs like this about 1 meter of the main colour would do and 20 cm for the small square. 

Ready, lets go! 

Step 1: Figuring out the position 
To start you need to plan out the position for your design and mark with pins.  Here I have place the design 10 stitches in from the right hand side and marked with the first pin (white), then counted over 10stitch for the width of the pattern and marked with a second pin (blue). Finally I have mark the base of design, 10 rows up from the rib (green). 

Positioning the pattern

Step 2: Starting the stitch
Next mark or follow instructions provided for where you want to start. I suggest the bottom right hand stitch of the charted design. Count how many stitch this point is in from the side, on mine this is 6, so I will count in 6 stitches from the white pin marker.  Draw the needle from the back to the front at the centre of the stitch (this looks like the bottom of a v), pull yarn through leaving a short end on the back. 

Starting the design

Step 3: Going around the top
Place the needle under both bars of the stitch above and pull the yarn through. It is important to pay attention to the tension of the yarn as you draw it around the stitch. You want it to sit on top perfectly matching the stitch below without being to loose or to tight so as not to distort the knitting, you will soon get a feel for this.
How to form the duplicate stitch

Step 4: Moving from one to the next
Like above, place the tapestry needle through both bars below but this time of the stitch being worked and the next. After a couple of stitch you will be able to see how these form fully and the process will become easier.  

Step 5: Changing rows - out of line
In this design the are only 2 stitches on the first row and then the next row starts one stitch over.  To do this smoothly you can place the needle in under the first bar and then out one row up at the other side of second bar. Draw yarn through gently and then tighten then final stitch on the first row.  
How to move between rows

Step 6: Working back
You will now work back from left to right following the same process. I have shown this with the fabric the same direction but you can turn the work to the side or the upside down if it is makes it easier. 

Step 7: Through all the loops
On the second row you will start to go through stitches already worked, as shown in the image below you will need to go under both the grey bars as well as the blue, it might feel a little awkward and look like it will distort the yarn but as the needle is removed and yarn pulled through it will look perfect.  

Step 8: Changing row - in line
To finish a row in where the next starts directly above, place the needle through from front to back at the bottom of the v of the last stitch and pull tight.  Then draw the needle through from back to front at the bottom of the v of the stitch above and carry on working as set.   

Step 9: Working around blank space
If there are secondary colours sections or blank areas you can simply work around these and come back to fill them in later.  To do this insert the needle into the bottom of the V to finish that stitch, pass it behind the work and then bring it out at the bottom of the V of the next stitch needing to be worked and carry on as before. Make sure not to pull the yarn to tight as this will cause the fabric to lay unevenly. 
Now you know all the techniques to work this first colour section! 

Step 10: Bringing in a second colour
Thread up your needle with the next colour and bring it in as before then follow exactly the same process.   

Finishing off the end.
To secure the end, pass the needle through the back loops as show (making sure you cannot see it from the front) then go back on yourself a bit to finish. 
I tend to stretch the knitting a little to take any extra tension out of this and get it laying flat.  Then trim the end off.   

And you are done! Congratulation! 

This pattern is taken from my Forget me not Cardigan - a children's knits with lovely flower designs around the yoke and on the pockets. To have a go at the pattern follow the link here.

I hope you enjoy this, have a lovely day and happy knitting!


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