Add fun hand-stitched elements to knitted sweaters
Have you ever tried the duplicate stitch? This is a stitch that essentially duplicates the knitted stitches in a piece of knitwear, giving you the look of knitted color work. The stitch is easy to learn but can give you lots of creative options.
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Start with a piece of knitwear that has a relatively chunky knit. The stitch works best on stockinette stitch fabric, which looks like many rows of "V"s, so make sure your chosen fabric has enough of that stockinette stitch for you to create your design.
Choose a yarn in whatever color or weight you'd like to work with. When choosing a yarn weight, keep in mind these two elements:
• One, a yarn in a lighter weight than the yarn your knitwear is made of (like the pink yarn shown) may not entirely cover the existing stitches, meaning that your background fabric will peek through your stitches.
• Two, a yarn in a heavier weight than the original fabric (like the brown yarn shown) will cause your design to be very bulky.
Both of those options will work just fine, but you may want to experiment to make sure you like the look of the yarn you choose.
A few tips:
To maintain the stretchiness of the original fabric, try to work your stitches in horizontal rows and don't carry your yarn over more than a couple of stitches. Start and stop your working yarn if you need to skip a large area.
Be mindful of the tension of your stitches. You want the tension to match the fabric you are knitting.
To make it easier to follow your design, I recommend marking the stitches you will duplicate using an erasable fabric marker. I wasn't quite able to both focus on the stitch and keep my design in mind, so I found this to be very helpful.