little details tutorials

Right. Let’s see if I can make sense of these photos I took a loooong time ago.

In these tutorials I have duplicate stitched a star (from the Hearts and Stars free chart) to demonstrate three techniques.

A) Duplicate stitching “leggy” shapes.

1 – I began with one of the lower “legs” of the star. The stitch markers are there to help me to centre the star on the knit fabric. In this photo I am finishing the last stitch of the second “arm” of the star.

2 – After finishing the side arms I took the yarn under two bars at the back to bring the yarn close to where I want to start the top arm of the star, without having a big length of yarn carrying along the back.

3 – Then I was able to finish the top arm and add the botton leg with a separate length of yarn.

B) Weaving in the ends

1 – One technique for weaving in ends, probably the most secure, is to do a duplicate stitch on the back. If you closely follow the next five photos you will see the progression of a duplicate stitch going left. It’s difficult to explain, even with photos, so have a try on your own work. Essentially you’re just following one thread, the same a the embellishing you’ve done on the front.

Then snip the yarn close to where it comes out.

2 – Sometimes there is not enough room to weave in all your ends in that manner, so this is another technique I often use in tight spaces, such as the legs of stars.

In this photo I have taken the yarn under three diagonal* bars (* this is important) and in the next photo I have skipped the top one but gone back under the same first two bars, doubling the yarn back on itself, and snipped the end.

This might not sound particularly secure but I have found it to be excellent with the handwash-only wool I do most of my embellishing on. It may not be secure enough for cotton yarns.

C) Chain stitching pointy shapes

Ah, this is a technique which seems tricky but once you’re tried it you’ll se it’s as easy as anything.

1 – Here I’ve chain stitched my way up one leg of the star. I’ve come through a loop of my chain stitch at the corner.

2 – Instead of going back into the loop I put the needle through at the corner, as if I were finishing my chain stitch there.

3 – At the back of my work I go over a bar and bring the needle under a bar, towards* the yarn coming through from the front (* this is important).

4 – Then I go back through to the front of my work, in the same place as I came out.

5 – Then this bit is a little fiddly. I bring my needle through the earlier loop, from underneath, so I am ready to keep stitching as usual. The difference is that the corner stitch is now anchored underneath. After this I can go back into the loop from above and keep stitching as normal.

6 – At the outer corner I do the same. I put the needle through to the back as if I were finishing my stitching…

7 – … anchor the yarn on a bar (going towards the yarn)…

8 – … and go back to the front through the same spot.

9 – Here I am going under the left bar of the earlier loop, from underneath, before continuing to stitch as normal.

10 – Ta-da! A finished star.

11 – But there is one more step left. Here I’ve taken the chain stitch yarn under four bars, diagonally…

12 – …and back under the bottom three of those on the way down.

13 – This is what the back of my finished star looks like.