|Southwest duplicate stitch sweater design|
featured in the July 1993 issue of The Crafter
Duplicate stitch, which is the art of embellishing stockinette stitched garments and blankets by overstitching the individual knit stitches, was all the rage back in the early 19990’s. Even though many store-bought knit garments are still embellished with duplicate stitch, most crafters have either forgotten or have never heard of this particular needlecraft. As a matter of fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find pattern books for duplicate stitch in any craft or needlework shop nowadays.
However, many simple cross stitch designs can be used for duplicate stitch. All you need are charts that don’t feature fractional stitches or backstitching. Also keep in mind that cross stitches are square in dimension, while stockinette stitches are slightly vertical rectangles. This won’t matter for many designs (it wasn’t a problem for the sun in the model shown above), but it’s something to keep in mind when choosing a design.
Basic Duplicate Stitch Instructions
Each square on the graph represents a “V” shaped duplicate stitch. The duplicate stitch is made by stitching over the “V” stitch of the stockinette stitch garment or blanket with embroidery floss. This is done by bringing the needle up from the back at the point of the “V” (fig. 1). Next, Insert the needle through the upper right point of the “V” and out through the upper left point of the “V” (fig. 2). Bring the needle back down through the base of the “V” (fig. 3). Begin the next stitch by bringing the needle up at the base of the “V” to the left of the just completed stitch (fig. 4). Work in horizontal rows wherever possible.
For best coverage, separate the strands of floss before threading the needle. The number of strands used will depend on the sweater gauge. The more stitches per inch, the fewer the strands needed for coverage. Work a test section to determine the number of strands you’ll need for best coverage on the item you’re embellishing.
Never knot the floss. Begin by securing the tail of the floss with the first few stitches. End floss by weaving through completed stitches of the same color on the reverse side of the item. When stitching is complete, secure floss ends with a drop of washable fabric glue.