A step-by-step tutorial for the duplicate stitch knitting technique – a simple way to add color to a project
Colorwork can be a great way to personalize your knitting. However, most techniques (like intarsia or fair isle), can be a bit more complicated and better suited for more advanced knitters. That’s why I want to show you the super simple duplicate stitch. Perfect for beginners who want to embellish their knitting.
But even later on it can be a great technique. Sometimes you don’t want to (or even outright can’t) start a new intarsia color block for just two or three stitches in a different color. Then using a tapestry needle and a spare length of yarn can be both faster and neater.
Let’s show you to do it!
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- Thread a spare length of yarn in a contrasting color on a blunt tapestry needle and tie a knot at one end.
- Pull the tapestry needle through the whole right between the two legs ("V") of a knit stitch, coming in from behind.
- Pull the needle through the two legs of the knit stitch two rows above.
- Get out through the same hole you came in and pull the yarn all the way through to the back. Avoid pulling too tightly.
- From behind, go in through the adjacent knit stitch. Again, go right through the little hole between the two legs and avoid piercing the yarn.
- Go underneath the two legs of the knit stitch one row above.
- And get out through the same hole you came in.
- You can go upwards. In this case, come in through the duplicate stitch you've just created.
- Again, go underneath the two legs of the stitch two rows above.
- And get out through the same hole.
- You can even skip stitches. Basically you can go through any little knit stitch in your fabric as long as you stick to repeating steps 1-4.
Duplicate stitch for garter stitch
The standard technique is all fine and nice for stockinette stitch. But how do you add a duplicate stitch to a project knitted in garter stitch? Well, it’s almost as simple even though the results will be somewhat different.
Step 1: Come in from behind and go through the hole in between the two legs of a knit stitch.
Step 2: Pull the tapestry needle through the bottom purl bump one row above (it’s a tiny fraction to the right).
Step 3: Go through the adjacent bottom purl bump from above.
Step 4: Get out through the same hole you came from and pull the tapestry needle all the way through towards the back.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4.
Personally speaking, I do feel that this technique is best used for weaving in ends. It can be a great option for lace shawls with a rather loose gauge where other methods fail.
If, on the other hand, you truly want to use it to add color to garter stitch, you will have to turn your work around after each row and then do the same process from the other side. It will take quite a long time and be quite a bit tedious. Using a simple chain stitch might be the easier and faster option.