Knitting with Color - And Sampling New Colors with Duplicate Stitch

comments (0) July 29th, 2008     

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Cranky_Daphne Daphne Adair, contributor
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Florence yarn colors: pink (of course) plus pale lemon, olive, grape, and raspberry.
Step 1: Put the needle in at the bottom of the first stitch to be duplicated.
Step 2: Go up and under the existing stitch above.
Florence yarn colors: pink (of course) plus pale lemon, olive, grape, and raspberry.

Florence yarn colors: pink (of course) plus pale lemon, olive, grape, and raspberry.

Photo: Daphne Adair

Once upon a time, I set out to knit Sarah Dallas’ "Florence" design, from Rowan magazine number 35. Most of us aren’t super into nearly neon yellow cardis (the original model color), and I happen to be into pink cardis (and pink everything else), so of course the first thing I did was completely change the color scheme. I picked the main pink color and, after laying out every single other color of Rowan Cotton Glace on the shop table and getting about six different opinions on colors, finally selected pale lemon, olive, grape, and raspberry.

But how was I going to combine them? I thought and thought, and knitted a swatch, but I wasn’t quite satisfied. I brought it to Hilltop Yarn, where a very smart knitting instructor suggested that instead of reknitting the swatch (which I was not motivated to do), I could duplicate stitch new colors on top of the originals.

Here’s how it works. Duplicate stitch, or Swiss darning, is where you trace the shape of your knitted stiches with a strand of yarn and a blunt-tipped yarn needle. It’s easiest, and generally used to best effect, on stockinette stitch.

Here’s a swatch using Blue Sky cotton showing how to duplicate-stitch:


Step 1: Put the needle in at the bottom of the first stitch to be duplicated.

I begin at the bottom of a stitch and leave a long tail on top of the knitting, which I’ll weave in later.


Step 2: Go up and under the existing stitch above.

Follow the path of the existing stitch with your yarn—go up and under the legs of the stitch above.


Step 3: Bring the yarn down to the bottom of the stitch you're tracing.

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