Embroidery and Knitting: A Special Partnership

The Beulah Cardigan

The Beulah Cardigan

I have several pieces of needlework showcased in my home. They were all stitched by my mom, gramma, and great gramma. These items are so special to me; I feel connected to my heritage when I see them, and I love knowing that my joy in handwork was passed on to me by these beloved women.

When I saw Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark’s new video tutorial, Embroidery on Knits, I was excited. What a fun way to embellish your knits. Just take a look at what an impact a simple chain stitch has on the stockinette background of the Beulah Cardigan (at right). Such beautifully embellished knitwear.

Here’s Mercedes to tell you about her road to making this video.

Embroidering on Knits

I first learned the basics of knitting when I was a kid, but had a bunch of on-again, off-again attempts through college. It never really “clicked” for me until I found Maggie Righetti’s book, Knitting in Plain English back in the summer of 1999. Her instructions made so much sense to me, and I started to knit in the Continental-Combination method instead of the English method of my previous attempts. Once I understood the basics, I began to knit all the time!

My first knitting designs were for the customers at my yarn shop, which I ran for five years. After I had gained some confidence, I submitted designs to magazines and book publishers (my very first design, the Refined Raglan, was in Interweave Knits). As more of my designs were published, I built up a portfolio of work and a fun freelance design career. Last year, my book Brioche Chic was published, and I’ve been enjoying teaching brioche knitting classes all over the country.

6-12TarasovichClFrom top left: Beulah Cardigan, Bonita Shirt, Refined Raglan,
Chevron Deep-V (from Brioche Chic)

As a kid, I actually took to embroidery much earlier, and more easily, than knitting. I remember my mom getting me little embroidery kits from Kmart or other shops, and I also learned stitches from craft books from my mom’s collection (I still think about how cool some of those 70s craft books were!). I would practice stitching on the pre-printed designs until I had completed embroideries of little birds or flowers. I still love to embroider on woven fabrics as a way to relax with a craft (one that’s technically not “work”). Eventually, I started to combine the two techniques for sweater designs like the Beulah Cardigan and the Bonita Shirt.

In the video, I show you ways to add embroidery to your knits, dressing them up with extra texture and color. Embroidery on knit fabric is different than embroidery on woven linens and cottons, the traditional materials for this craft. I show how to easily and beautifully add stitching to many types and weights of knitted pieces, along with my four favorite stitches for knits. With just those basic stitches, you can create motifs to beautifully embellish your knitting . You’ll also learn to play with the scale of the stitches and use different types of threads and yarns to create colorful, gorgeously textured pieces.

—Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark, Embroidery on Knits

I just thought of something! Maybe I’ll knit something and have my mom embroider on it; what a lovely way to preserve this special family tradition.

Check out the preview for Embroidery on Knits below, and then get your video and start your own traditions!

P.S. Does craftiness run in your family? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!

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