How to Embroider on Knits

Written by kate bruscke
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How to Embroider on Knits
A duplicate stitch can fix mistakes in patterned knits. (Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Embroidering on knitted pieces and garments is a great way to add designs to finished projects. It is also a great way to fix mistakes or jogs in the knitting, especially in knitting that has used intarsia or Fair Isle techniques to create patterns in the piece. To embroider a design onto knitting, it's a good idea to sketch the design onto a piece of graph paper, with each box representing a stitch. To mend imperfections, isolate the areas that need stitching help.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Embroidery hoop
  • Yarn or embroidery thread in desired colours
  • Yarn or embroidery needle
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Lay section to be embroidered or fixed into the bottom of the embroidery hoop. Fit the top of the hoop over the area, pulling it slightly taut, but much looser than usually done for traditional embroidery on fabric.

  2. 2

    Snip a length of yarn or thread in the desired colour, about twice the length of your arm. Thread into the needle, and tie an overhand knot on the end of one side.

  3. 3

    Poke the needle from the back of the knit piece out to the right side. Pull until the knot is flush against the back of the knit.

    To Embroider a Design

  1. 1

    Push the needle back into the knit, front to back, and pull to create a straight stitch.

  2. 2

    Bring the needle again back out, back to front, but this time through the centre of the stitch showing on the right side.

  3. 3

    Repeat Steps 1 and 2 to form a split stitch, the foundation stitch of embroidery. Use this stitch to outline and create desired patterns on the knit.

  4. 4

    Knot the last stitch and clip excess yarn or thread.

    To Fix Mistakes

  1. 1

    Pull the yarn or thread through the knit at the stitch that needs fixing. Lay yarn or thread to the right.

  2. 2

    Pass the needle, right to left, beneath the stitch above the one you are correcting.

  3. 3

    Insert needle back into the same hole you pulled through in Step 1 to create a duplicate stitch, which covers the mistaken stitch.

  4. 4

    Repeat Steps 1 through 3 for each stitch that needs fixing. Knot the last stitch and clip excess yarn or thread.

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