Interweave Yarn Hacks: Duplicate Stitch!

Colorwork in knitting is one of those things that everyone has strong and varied feelings about. Some people love stranded patterns, some get a kick out of intarsia, some would rather leave multiple colors out of the whole conversation, thank you very much! If you fall into this final realm, you might want to take a go at duplicate stitch.

This technique is sometimes called “afterthought colorwork” because you do it once the main knitting of your project is complete. Using contrasting yarn, you stitch over your existing knit stitches, mimicking the “V” shape of a normal knit stitch.

Thread a tapestry needle with a good length of yarn. Enter your fabric from the back, at the base of a stitch’s “V.” Pull the yarn through, leaving a few-inch-long yarn tail that you can tie off and weave in later. Insert the tapestry needle through the two legs of the stitch above the stitch you first entered, pulling the yarn through as you go. Bring the needle to the back of the work, through the exact same place (at the base of the “V”).

Repeat this process to create all kinds of words and patterns on your knitting. As you go, make sure your tension remains pretty even. If you find that you’re pulling too tightly or have gone somewhat slack, take a moment to even out your stitches. You can gently pull on the legs of the stitches, right leg first, then left leg, then right, then left, making sure everything is even and that the stitches lay nicely. It’s better to do this more often than you think, every 5–7 stitches or so, to make sure your work is consistent and smooth!

How have you used duplicate stitch? Do you have any tips or pointers? Please let us know!

Happy stitching,
The Yarn Hacks Team

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