Swiss darning, also known as duplicate stitch, is a really easy technique to learn and very handy to know. As the name suggests, it is used to reinforce and mend knitting, but is also lovely for embroidery that replicates the structure of the knitting.
Speaking of structure, here is a little diagram of a row of knitting. When Swiss darning, always begin at the base of the 2 “legs” of a stitch.
*click on any image to enlarge
Top tips for Swiss darning:
- use a blunt needle,
- plan your embroidery: start at an edge or corner and have a look at the direction of work before you begin,
- do not pull the stitches too tightly–keep them nice and loose and then tighten them up a little after every row if they need it,
- come at the first stitch from the wrong side of the fabric and leave a 10 cm /4 inch tail of yarn to weave in at the end.
For this example, I use this simple chart with black embroidery on a pink background:
The chart tells us that the embroidery is to be a rectangle 3 stitches wide and 3 rows high. I begin in the lower right-hand corner.
Do let me know if you find this useful! As ever, any questions or comments are welcome, especially if you have any suggestions about how I can make things more clear, more concise–more useful to you!
This was a little diversion from the double knit tutorials as I have a pattern coming out that features Swiss darning and wanted to make sure everyone knows how to.