We all love playing with string, right? That's why we knit—the magic that makes a ball of yarn become a sweater, the joyous spirit that fills us when someone compliments a hand-knit scarf. That right there is love, my friends, love of the craft and of ourselves, to invest the amount of time it takes to have something truly unique and handmade (just remember that the next time someone asks why you're knitting socks instead of buying a 12-pack from Wal-Mart). And this craft lends itself to a variety of ways to make things with string, be it finished garments or adding personalized details.
I know I've talked about the duplicate stitch projects in the new Knitscene Spring 2012, but really, I can't get over it. Duplicate stitch on knitting is the perfect marriage of two of my favorite pastimes, knitting and embroidery. I've got cross-stitch projects half-finished from more than a decade ago; I've got some of my mom's crewel projects stashed around the craft room (she blames the whole "having children" thing for the fact that she never got around to finishing them; I prefer to think that she just traded one work in progress for another). In this issue, there are three projects that use duplicate stitch, Allyson Dykhuizen's Tulip Slouch, Maura Kirk's Secret Song Mittens, and Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark's Fleurette Camisole.
But we're no stranger to afterthought embellishments and the style and sass they can easily add to any finished garment. Two of my favorite projects from recent issues of Knitscene include stitching details: Amy Christoffer's Neitherleigh Cardigan from Knitscene Winter 2011 features simple stitched birds on the front, while Katie Himmelberg's Heartdigan Cardigan from Winter/Spring 2010 uses duplicate stitch and knitted heart patches for a sweet twist on a classic collegiate jacket.
Have you fallen in love with duplicate stitch, but maybe don't know how to make it look neat and seamless? Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark's article in the Spring 2012 issue of Knitscene is a great resource, but if you need a more visual tutorial, you can purchase episode 804 from last season's Knitting Daily TV and see Eunny demonstrate duplicate stitch as a way to reinforce knitted fabric (same technique, different usage!).
Show yourself and another string-craft some love and add your own personal style (even to that rare store bought sweater in your closet) with some duplicate stitch and other embroidery techniques!
Until next time, happy knitting.