No one will ever believe you didn't spend days and days making this beautiful sweater! The secret is duplicate stitch -- a simple embroidery technique using a tapestry needle and cotton floss to work over the V-shaped stocking stitches of a plain, ready-made sweater. When finished, the design appears as if it is actually knit into the sweater.
The timeless appeal of blue-and-white china inspired former Canadian Living crafts features editor Jean Scobie to create one of the freshest, prettiest sweaters you'll find -- a classic to wear for many seasons to come.
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•Medium-gauge sweater of approx 7 to 9 stitches per inch and 9 to 11 rows per inch
•DMC embroidery floss in shades of blue: #823, #796, #793, #340, #3747
•No. 18 tapestry needle
•Sewing needle and thread
Before you begin:
1. Determine the size of the design area on your sweater as follows:
Width of chart in squares (79) Ã· number of sts/inch on your sweater = finished width of design in inches;
Height of chart in squares (41) Ã· number of rows/inch on your sweater = finished height of design in inches.
2. Decide on the approx placement of this design on your sweater; for example, on the yoke, centre front or along bottom edge. Locate and mark the centre of this area with a pin. Try the sweater on and adjust placement if necessary. With sewing needle and thread, baste a horizontal and vertical line through the centre point.
3. Determine the number of strands of floss you will need to use. The bigger the knitted stitch, the more strands you will need (we used all 6 strands on sweater shown in photo). Try embroidering a few duplicate stitches in an inconspicuous area on your sweater. They should neatly cover the knit stitches and appear to have been knit into the sweater.
1. Matching basting lines on sweater with centre lines on chart, decide where you wish to start stitching. One coloured square on the chart equals one V-shaped duplicate stitch.
2. Cut a 46 cm (18-in) length of floss. Floss will cover best when lying flat, so separate and untwist the required number of strands before threading the tapestry needle. Bring needle up from back of work at base of V (Diagram 1), leaving a 2.5 cm (1-in) end at back of work. Insert needle from right to left through the two loops at base of the V-shaped stitch immediately above, then back down through base of original stitch (Diagram 2). Adjust tension on the floss so it covers the knit stitch. Hold thread end at back of work and stitch over it as you work the first few stitches.
3. Continue duplicate stitching in this manner in horizontal rows wherever possible, working from right to left (Diagram 3) or left to right. Where it is necessary to work vertically, work from top to bottom. Keep stitching tension as close to the tension of the knitted garment as possible.
4. To finish a length of floss, run the end under several stitches on back of work.