Duplicate stitch is a great way to add colorwork to your knitting without dealing with the unsightly gaps from intarsia or the endless tension problems that arise with stranded work. It’s also great for the indecisive knitter, because you can add a design or pops of color after you’ve knitted the piece, and you can rip it out and redo it without having to frog and reknit (which can be can easily become a monster of tangled yarn with colorwork). Here is a brief tutorial of a basic duplicate stitch, using samples from my Sprinkles Beanie.
First, you’ll want to have a blank section of stockinette. In this case, the body of a hat knit in We Are Knitters The Petite Wool. Take a length of yarn that is equal thickness or thicker than the background (if it’s thinner than the background, it won’t fully cover the stitch) and thread it through a large needle. Put the needle from back to front through the space just below the “V” of the stitch you want to cover, like so (target stitch in red):
Pull the yarn through, leaving a short tail at the back.
Insert the needle through the bars of the stitch above the target stitch.
Pull the yarn through, being careful not to pull too tight, and insert the needle back into the space just below the target stitch, where you originally brought your needle up.
Pull the yarn through, being careful not to pull too tight. That’s your first duplicate stitch!
Now repeat this over each stitch indicated in the pattern or chart you are using, et voilà! Simple, after-the-fact color work.
Download my Sprinkles Beanie pattern to try out duplicate stitch, or design your chart and get to working on some stockinette swatches! I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have any feedback please don’t hesitate to comment or shoot me an email or DM on Instagram!