Technique Post: Duplicate Stitching

Another technique post for you! Our Web-Letter this week features a beautiful scarf and mitten set knit in Inca with light and medium blue embellishments added after the pieces are complete.

Duplicate stitching is an invaluable technique with multiple applications for knitters. I've used it to cover up mistakes, to embellish plain stockinette, and, did I say to fix mistakes? Simply put, duplicate stitching is the process by which one uses a separate strand of yarn threaded through a needle (I prefer a duller-tipped tapestry needle) to mimic the stitches on a piece of knitted fabric. You may already be doing duplicate stitch when you weave in your ends!

When done in large sections, the resulting "stitches" look like they were knitted there to begin with, intarsia-style. When done stitch-by-stitch, as they are in the Web Letter this week, the resulting look adds a delicate touch of color to a formerly plain knit. You can use it to add monograms or lettering to your knits also. One of my favorite applications comes from Elizabeth Zimmermann, who used duplicate stitch to add names, years, or messages to the inside turned hems of sweaters. Be sure to write it upside down so the wearer can peek at it!

Before beginning, examine your knitting. On the knit side, there are rows and columns of V's. You will be inserting your needle through the bottom of the V from back to front.
Then take your needle under the V of the stitch above and back through the bottom of the V where you started. That's it! When duplicate stitching horizontally, your next step is to bring your needle through the V from back to front on the stitch to the left (or right) and repeat the process. For vertical stitching, bring it through the V of the stitch above...

The video below shows duplicate stitch in action from right to left and then into the row above. As always, thanks for reading!


  1. I was trying to do duplicate stitching on the purl side - not as easy! But this is a great technique to use.

  2. i've never done duplicate stitch before, haven't needed it yet, but it makes sense for weaving in ends - now i'll have to try it. the scarf is really pretty too.

    how do i sign up for the web letter?

  3. Hi J!

    You can sign up for the Web Letter and view all our past Web Letters here

    Thanks for the comment!

  4. Daily there are items that I would love to attempt ... is there a pattern for making Long Life?