Tuesday Tip: Duplicate Stitch to the Rescue!

Tuesday Tip copyBy far the most powerful tool in the knitter’s toolbox is duplicate stitch (also known as swiss darning). There are so many fixes that can be done once you master this little darling. Furthermore, once you do, you will also have a much better understanding of the anatomy of your stitches.

Swiss Darning (Duplicate Stitch) Sock Repair

Heel of sock is nearly worn through. A wooden darning egg is helpful for this operation

Save Your Knitting : Duplicate Stitch to Prevent a Hole

Swiss Darning

When I want to fix an area before it becomes a hole, I will duplicate stitch over the threadbare stitches.

Start by working a row below the trouble spot.  Remember, you can work multiple rows by going right to left, and then jog up one row and work the next row left to right

1) Start by bringing your needle back to front through the base of the stitch – the bottom point of the V. Leave a good long tail, as we’ll weave this in at the end

Left to Right - insert at base

Here I am working Row 4 going left to right. Always inserting the needle in the base of the stitch you are duplicating

2) Next bring your needle through the legs of the stitch above the one you are duplicating. NOTE: If you are working a row going left to right, your needle will also move left to right

Notice how I'm following the path of the stitch.

Notice how I’m following the path of the stitch.

3) Finally insert the needle back where you started at the base of the V. Jog over to the next stitch (or up above to do the next row) and repeat.

Duplicate Stitch left to right 3

Always enter the same spot you came out. From here you can jog up to do the row above, or jog over to do the next stitch.

Don’t forget, when working the next row, you’ll be moving right to left!

Duplicate Stitch Moving right to left

Here’s the same duplicate stitch on the next row. Notice how I’m now moving Right to left

Heel saved!

Here’s the finished heel, all reinforced.

Finished Heel

No extra bulk inside, very comfortable!









Although it’s great to make this repair before the hole appears, fear not, you can also use duplicate stitch, known as swiss darning, to repair a hole.

To find out how, along with a myriad of other fixes (fixes in cables, lace, color work, circular knitting, shaping and more – both on and off the needles!), check out my video class, Advanced Knitting Fixes.

See where I’m teaching it live here.

15KN18CLICK HERE for DVD or Digital Download

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  • Ellen Peskin March 24, 2015   Reply →

    Any advice on how to fix a hole that was created by the underarm on a top down sweater? Stitch became elongated. So bummed. 🙁

  • Susan Kehoe September 25, 2016   Reply →

    Can you suggest the best way to repair a small hole from moth damage?

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