Free EBooks



I learned to embroider my knits!

May 3, 2011

This past weekend I attended a knitting retreat in the mountains of North Carolina. Two and a half days with about 40 other knitters, good food, and the cool little town of Blowing Rock. I gave a talk on Saturday night about my book, Knitting Plus, took some classes, and enjoyed hours sitting outside and knitting with some really funny people. I also participated in a speed knitting contest but did not win! The winner knitted 5 rows (of 50 stitches) in 4 minutes. Though I’m fast, we concluded that my throwing just could not compete with the winner’s picking, when it comes to speed. Oh well.

I took two classes with Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark, who is also a frequent Knitscene designer. I learned about embroidering on knits and how to do two-color brioche in the round. Check out my swatches.

I’m super excited about the embroidery. It was easy once I really understood the stitches—I’ve never been confident in my interpretation of written embroidery instructions; seeing someone demonstrate it in real life is such a help. I really liked working chain stitch embroidery--the quick movement makes such a neat little stitch, and you can angle the stitches any which way over knitted fabric. Perfecting curved lines will take some practice, but it's such a neat option for making rounded shapes, which is nearly impossible to do in knitting itself, with its gridlike structure.

Chain Stitch Embroidery on Knitted Fabric

Bring threaded needle out from back to front at center of a knitted stitch.
Form a short loop and insert needle back where it came out.
Keeping the loop under the needle, bring needle back out in center of next stitch to the right.


Mercedes brought along the Bonita Shirt to show the class, a project from Interweave Knits Summer 2006. This is such a cute top and the backstitch embroidery makes it pop, gives the crisp white fabric such a summery, folky feel. An oldie but goodie that I’d love to find time to knit this year—we’ll see how soon I wrap up Fireside. 

Maryland Sheep and Wool is coming up this weekend. Who’s going? Knitscene assistant editor and blogger Amy will be there, so hopefully she’ll have a report for us next week.  Since the spring semester is over down here, I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend with my partner— a doctoral student coming off a particularly brutal year. And it’s Mother Day on Sunday, don’t forget!

We go to press on Fall Knitscene June 1, so I better get back to it. Enjoy some spring weather while it lasts—here in the south it will be summer any minute.





Featured Products

Knitting Plus Mastering Fit + Plus-Size Style + 15 Projects

Availability: Out Of Stock
Was: $24.95
Sale: $4.38


Knitting Plus is the must-have manual for plus-sized sweater construction and knitwear design. With this playful guide, you'll learn how to design wearable, tailor-made sweaters that have that perfect custom fit.


Bonita Shirt Knitting Pattern

Availability: In Stock
Price: $5.50


Simple embroidery sparks a classic lace top.


Related Posts
+ Add a comment


LisaShroyer wrote
on May 9, 2011 12:46 PM

Hi Elizabeth, I agree that using a crochet hook for chain stitch is faster. When I was learning, however, I found it easier to start with a tapestry needle, until i understood what was happening and how to control my placement and the evenness of the stitches.

on May 9, 2011 11:29 AM

Why would you use a sewing needle to chain-stitch on knits? Crocheting a chain stitch is SO much faster, you can do it from a skein of yarn instead of cutting lengths of yarn, and it doesn't feel so traumatic if you have to rip back a little to tweak it.

on May 8, 2011 7:12 PM

MarieM@15, look on Ravelry for the Knit-A-Way group: we have a knitting retreat in Little Switzerland each September.

on May 8, 2011 7:11 PM

MarieM@15, look on Ravelry for the Knit-A-Way group: we have a knitting retreat in Little Switzerland each September.

MarieM@15 wrote
on May 7, 2011 5:47 AM

I enjoyed reading about Lisa Shroyer's experiences at the kniting retreat in Blowing Rock.  I live in North Carolina and would love to participate in a knitting retreat.

Is there any information you can give me about knitting retreats in North Carolina

and / or other places?

Thank you so much and Lisa, thank you for sharing - i enjoyed seeing your embroidery on your knit pieces.

Marie Moore

LisaShroyer wrote
on May 3, 2011 1:26 PM

Oh, and if you're looking for an immersive knitting event--with classes on brioche and embellishment--check out the course listings for Interweave Knitting Lab, which were just recently posted:

on May 3, 2011 11:36 AM

I need to learn how to embroider...or relearn what I know from earlier years to finish up a 1930s cardigan from the Stitch in Time, 1970s version.