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How to Use Hand Embroidery to Decorate Your Knitting

You can enhance your completed and blocked knitting projects with some hand embroidered decorative details. Hand-embroidered edging can add colour and charm to knitted blankets, children's clothing and scarves. The embroidery should be worked over flat knitted stockinet stitches, which are alternate rows of knitting and purling, for the best result. The hand-embroidery will be most dramatic when done with a contrasting colour. The same weight yarn used in your knitting project should be used for the embroidery.

Thread the tapestry needle with 24-inches of yarn. Tie a knot in the yarn 6-inches from one end.

Pull the yarn through the knitting from the back side, until the knot stops the yarn. Reinsert the needle through the knitting to the back of the yarn, covering two knitted stitches.

Bring the yarn to the front from the back, one knitted stitch away. Repeat to create a row of embroidered straight-stitches.

Tie a knot in the embroidery yarn at the back of the finished straight-stitch row. Cut the yarn to 6-inches. Weave the ends of the embroidery yarn through the back stitches with the tapestry needle.

Thread the tapestry needle with 24-inches of yarn. Tie a knot in the yarn 6-inches from one end.

Pull the yarn through the knitting from the back side, until the knot stops the yarn, 1-inch from the bottom edge of the knitting project.

Cover the inch of knitting with the embroidery yarn, wrapping it around the project edge. Reinsert the needle on the back side of the project one stitch above the first stitch. Repeat, to create a series of whipstitches over the project edge.

Tie a knot in the embroidery yarn at the back of the finished whipstitch row. Cut the yarn to 6-inches. Weave the ends of the embroidery yarn through the back stitches with the tapestry needle.

Thread the tapestry needle with 24-inches of yarn. Tie a knot in the yarn 6-inches from one end.

Pull the yarn through the knitting from the back side, until the knot stops the yarn.

Embroider an upward slanting stitch over two knit stitches. Bring the yarn back to the front to make a downward slanting stitch, creating an "X." Do not pull the yarn too tightly. Repeat, to make a row of cross-stitches.

Tie a knot in the embroidery yarn at the back of the finished cross-stitch row. Cut the yarn to 6-inches. Weave the ends of the embroidery yarn through the back stitches with the tapestry needle.

Things You'll Need

  • Knitting project
  • Tapestry needle
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
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About the Author

Linda Shepard has been staff writer for "C & G Newspapers" for over 10 years, covering local government and crime and serving as the newspaper's food writer. She has written for "Michigan Meetings Magazine" and is also the owner of Spectacularstrolls.com, an online business of self-guided walking tours.