All About Color

How to Duplicate Stitch

Duplicate stitch is an embroidery technique where a contrast color yarn is worked on top of the knitted piece by following the knitted stitch pattern. Typically, a yarn of the same weight is used when performing duplicate stitch but this is not always the case. Depending on the desired effect, the knitter may choose a yarn of a lighter weight so that the original stitch shows through or a chunkier yarn so that the embroidery stands out from the fabric. Duplicate stitch may also be used as a finishing technique to weave in tail ends.

When used for embroidery, duplicate stitch may produce a similar effect as Intarsia. However, because you are adding an additional layer to the knitted piece, it may affect the overall drape of the knit. When performed in small areas, duplicate stitch typically produces minimal impact to the overall drape of a piece. But, it’s important to keep this in mind when choosing to perform duplicate stitch over another technique.
Remember, in Stockinette stitch, one stitch forms the “V” shape. It’s important that you know how to identify a stitch before using this technique.

Working from right to left, we are going to follow the “V” of each stitch:
1. Using a tapestry needle and contrast color yarn, bring the needle through the upside down “V” that is next to the stitch you are going to work from right to left.
2. Now go through the top right point of the “V” and through to the left side of the stitch.
3. Then, go back through the next upside down “V”.
4. Repeat steps.

You can also work this stitch from left to right. Just reverse the direction:

1. Using a tapestry needle and contrast color yarn, bring the needle through the upside down “V” that is next to the stitch you are going to work from left to right.
2. Now go through the top left point of the “V” and through to the right side of the stitch.
3. Then, go back through the bottom of the “V”.
4. Repeat steps.

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Decreases

How to Work the Centered Double Decrease (CDD)

The centered double decrease or CDD is a useful decrease to use when shaping the tip of a v-neck because it slants neither left nor right and is perfectly centered if worked properly.

To work this decrease:
1. Slip two stitches together as if to knit.
2. Knit the next stitch.
3. Pass the 2 slipped stitches over the stitch that was just knit.

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All About Color

How to Join Colors in Ribbing in the Round (Jogless Join)

When joining a color in the round within ribbing, join the second color at the beginning of the round. Knit the first round of the new color (do not work the ribbing pattern). Then, in the next round, slip the first stitch of the new color purlwise (from tip to tip) and begin working in the ribbing pattern again.

Knitting the first round of a color change within ribbing prevents you from having the ugly “dots” that will appear if you join and work in pattern on the first row during a color change. Slipping the first stitch of the round after the color change prevents you from having a “jog” when working stripes in the round.

Example from the VESSST Pattern

Work 4 rnds of the 2 x 2 Rib patt in Color A.
Switch to Color B, k one rnd. Then, slip the first st of the next rnd purlwise and work 3 rnds of the 2 x 2 Rib patt in Color B.

Colar

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Blocking

How to Sew Hand Knits: Everything You Need to Know About Seaming!

There are several techniques for seaming garments and the method you use depends on the area of the garment that you are seaming. Generally, we seam together stitches that are situated horizontal-to-horizontal, vertical-to-vertical and vertical-to-horizontal within a garment. In addition, seams can be worked via grafting where live stitches are worked together into an invisible seam. An example of grafting is using the Kitchener stitch on a back neck band. Lastly, the three-needle bind off is sometimes used at shoulder seams but is typically categorized as a bind off technique.

It’s important to choose the right seaming method based on how the stitches are situated at the seam within the garment. For instance, at the side seams, stitches are typically lined up side-by-side vertically. So, vertical-to-vertical seaming is used. At the shoulder, we typically use horizontal-to-horizontal seaming. However, when seaming the arms, you may have to use multiple techniques if working a set-in sleeve as you will be working along a curved edge and the position of the stitches will change. Below is a general guideline for how each section of a sweater is seamed.

Horizontal-to-Horizontal Seaming: often used two join the two shoulder seams. The three-needle bind off may also be used but is typically categorized as a bind off technique.

Verticlal-to-Vertical Seaming: used most often at the side seams of a garment when the stitches line up vertically side-by-side at the seam.

Vertical-to-Horizontal Seaming: used frequently when seaming arms as we work along the curve of the armhole.

TABLE 1 final

Most methods require the knitter to seam with the right side (RS) facing. However, any edges that will be turned back (sleeve cuffs, cowl neck or a turtleneck) must be seamed from the opposite side to avoid the seam from showing.

My patterns typically feature a selvedge stitch at the edge for seaming where either garter stitch or Stockinette stitch (St. st) is applied. If the pattern you are working with does not include a selvedge, be sure to add 1-2 stitches at each end in order to work the seam. I typically work St. st within the selvedge but occasionally I will work garter stitch if I need a nice firm edge. The method you choose depends on what is being seamed and also on personal preference.

Across techniques, it’s important for the two sides to be joined together smoothly with no gaps. to do this, a knitter must be able to identify a full stitch. On the right side of Stockinette stitch, look for the Vs. On the wrong side of Stockinette stitch, look for the “frowns” (downward facing half circles) and the two legs of the stitch that are hidden under the “smiles” to the left and right of the frown. This is a full stitch but many new knitters make the mistake of thinking just the “frown” or “smile” portion is the stitch. See pictures below.

Seaming - identify a stitch

Before getting started, be sure all pieces of the garment are blocked. This will ensure each piece is according to the measurements provided in the schematic. Without this step, your seams will not line up and/or your garment will not fit properly. So, as a child of PBS, I will echo the familiar mantra, “take the time to do it right!”

There is a general sequence for seaming garments as listed below but this also depends on the garment design. For instance, in a dolman style sweater that does not have separate sleeves, steps for seaming the sleeve can be skipped. Another example is knits worked in the round to the armhole that do not require side seams to be sewed. Although you may need to skip a step depending on the garment type, the list below provides a good starting point for understanding the process of seaming garments.

Sequence for Seaming Garments:
1. Seam shoulders
2. Seam both sleeves at the shoulder (I recommend working from the top of the should down on each side)
3. Seam sleeves along the side
4. Sew side seams

Supplies
1. Darning needle
2. Seaming yarn (preferably the same yarn you knit with and no longer than 18 inches)
3. Optional: Tailor’s ham for seaming the arms. A ham is tightly stuffed pillow used as a curved mold when pressing curved areas of clothing like sleeves. I like using a long ham as a foundation when seaming the arms as it separates the knitted fabric.

Seaming Garments - Arm

First, start by threading your needle. There are a few options for starting – I will mention two here: 1) the figure eight which is named for its appearance and 2) Knotting On/Off which produces an edge that looks like a cast on or cast off stitch. I typically use the figure eight when beginning a seam and knot off at the end.

The Figure Eight (8)
1. Place the two sides together with RS facing.
2. Insert needle from back to front (WS to RS) into the center of the corner stitch on one side. If you are using a tail that was left in the knitting process, insert into the side without the tail first.
3. Then, insert the needle from back to front into the opposite side in the same place (center of the corner stitch).
4. Tighten to close the opening between the two sides.

Knotting On/Off
1. Place the two sides together with RS facing.
2. Insert needle from back to front (WS to RS) into the center of the corner stitch on one side. Then, go back down through that stitch leaving a small loop. The loop should be about ½”.
3. Insert the needle from back to front into the opposite side in the same place (center of the corner stitch).
4. Next, draw the needle through the loop and tighten down.

For instructions on each seaming method, see blogs in Blocking, Finishing and Seaming.

Happy seaming!

References
Hiatt Hemmons, June. The Principles of Knitting. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988.
Vogue Knitting: the Ultimate Knitting Book. New York: Sixth and Springs Books, 2002.

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