Embroidering on Knitting

Embroidery is a really simple and quick way to add additional embellishment to your finished knitting. The July Mittens feature a riot of embroidery on the top of the hand, including chain stitched stems and “spider web” flowers. Below are two separate photo tutorial for working each technique!

1 / Embroidering on knit fabric requires extra care as not to stretch the fabric out of shape. It is recommended you place your knitting down between elements to make sure you are holding it flat and not stretching it out.

2 / It is important to take care as to not place the needle through the individual strand of yarn – always put the needle in between stitches or in the center “V” of the knit stitch. A blunt darning needle will help you with this.

3 / Due to the larger gauge, it is recommended you use yarn in lieu of thread. You may find you like the look of yarn that is the same gauge as your knitted fabric, or you may prefer a finer gauge yarn held doubled.

4 / Finish the ends either by tying knots or weaving them in as you would your knitting.

Chain Stitch

Step 1 / Hold the working yarn out of the way using your non-dominant hand. Hold it flat and firm, but do not stretch it or your knit fabric, out of shape.

Step 2 / Insert your darning needle into the previous chain stitch worked. Place the needle down into the knit fabric, taking care to not split the yarn, and then back up to the front of your knitting. The length that your needle s behind the knitting will determine the length of your chain, so try to keep each distance the same length to maintain continuity.

Step 3 / Keeping your non-dominant thumb on the loop, pull the working yarn until you have an approximately 1″ loop.

Step 4 / Thread the darning needle back through the loop to secure the stitch.

Step 5 / Finish pulling the working yarn taut to complete the stitch.

Repeat Steps 1-5 to work the chain for the desired length. You may shape the chain in swirls/curves by shifting where you bring the needle up in Step 2 over by one unit (a partial stitch or row). Close the final stitch by bringing the yarn back down into the fabric once you have secured the loop.

“Spider Web” Flower

Step 1 / Bring the working yarn up through your knitting from back to front. *Pull the working yarn across the front to your desired length, then place the needle down into the knitting, then come out the front at your starting point. One spoke has just been worked. Note: The length of one spoke will equal the radius of your flower.

Step 2 / Repeat from * in Step 1 until you have worked around a full circle, making sure you have an odd number of spokes.

Step 3 / Once your spokes are complete, thread the needle in and out of the spokes, over and under, as if you are weaving. Pull the yarn through completely with each pass. You will not be going in and out of the knit fabric at this time; only weave over and under the spokes of the embroidery yarn.

Tip: Place your non-dominant thumb gently over the flower when pulling the working yarn taut as not to cause the knit fabric to move out of shape.

Step 4 / Continue weaving around, over and under, pulling the yarn taut to create a firm, sturdy flower.

The flower is complete once you have worked the full length of the spokes. They should be completely hidden by the woven part of the flower.

That’s it! You can have a lot of fun with embroidery once you get the hang of it.

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