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Duplicate Stitch

Duplicate stitch can be used to simulate two-color knitting. With this technique, you literally duplicate a knit stitch in a new color. If you have only a small area to cover and don't want to use stranding or intarsia color methods, try duplicate stitch. We'll demonstrate this method by adding a blue star to a plain white background.

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Star Chart

With chart in hand, locate the first stitch to be duplicated -- in this case, we'll start with the lowest stitch on the right side. The stitch is marked with a red V in Photo 1.

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Photo 1

With yarn threaded on a tapestry needle, bring the needle from back to front below the low point of the V on the stitch to be worked (Photo 2).

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Photo 2

Now insert the needle from right to left behind the stitch above the stitch to be worked (Photo 3).

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Photo 3

The blue yarn is now covering the right side of the original stitch (Photo 4).

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Photo 4

Now bring the needle down and through to the back through the same point that began the stitch (Photo 5).

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Photo 5

We now have a blue stitch directly on top of the white stitch (Photo 6).

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Photo 6

To cover the stitch directly above this one, insert the needle below the low point of the V of this stitch (Photo 7).

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Photo 7

Now insert the needle from right to left behind the stitch above the stitch being worked (Photo 8).

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Photo 8

Now bring the needle down and through to the back through the same point that began the stitch (Photo 9).

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Photo 9

We now have two blue stitches (Photo 10).

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Photo 10

Follow the chart and work one stitch at a time, working a stitch directly above, below, or beside the one you've just finished whenever possible (Photo 11).

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Photo 11

With the star design, you will inevitably come to a point where the next stitch to be worked is several stitches away from the one you just finished. One way to cope with this is to simply bring the needle from back to front below the next stitch and proceed as usual (Photo 12).

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Photo 12

However, if you don't want any floats on the back -- for example, if you're decorating a pocket -- turn the piece over and weave through the back to the beginning of the next stitch (Photo 13).

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Photo 13

Bring the yarn to the front and proceed as usual (Photo 14).

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Photo 14

Follow the chart to finish the design. Voila! You now have a two-color design (Photo 15).

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Photo 15

If you wove through the back of the work to prevent floats, the piece is ready to be used as a pocket (Photo 16).

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Photo 16

Duplicate stitch is a great option when you're working with more than two colors too. Check out the free pattern with this newsletter, Itty-Bitty Buggie Baby Hats; the "bugs" are worked in duplicate stitch.