12 Days KAL: French Knots, Beads and Duplicate Stitch

This is the sixth post in our series to get you ready for the 12 Days of Christmas Mitten Garland Knit Along. All of the mittens have a leaf and berry motif at the cuff. Today we are going to discuss the different ways to add the berries.

1. Knit them in: You could just knit the stitches for the berries red as you knit the mitten. This will require working three colors on some rows. I think this would be a little fussier than I would want to do and the berries wouldn’t have any texture.

2. Duplicate Stitch: With duplicate stitch, you are just embroidering over an existing knit stitch but in another color. It is an easy way to add small spots of color without stranding. I used it last year to do some of the numbers on the Advent Calendar Mittens like this one.
Mitten Garland Advent Calendar - Mitten 11
It can cause puckering if you aren’t careful. It also raises the stitch a bit which would be nice for these mittens. Here is a video tutorial.

3. French Knots: This is how I did the berries on my mittens. A French knot is an easy embroidery stitch that makes a nice textural circle, perfect for berries. I would suggest doing the French knots after blocking your mittens.

Put a length of yarn on a tapestry needle. Knot the other end. Bring the needle and yarn through your knitting where you want your knot.
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Wrap the yarn near the mitten around the needle as many times as you want. The more wraps the bigger the knot. I did two wraps for mine.
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Put the tip of the needle back into the knitting a little away from where you came out, on these mittens I went to the other side of the same knit stitch. Hold the needle with one hand and with the other hand pull the yarn taut so the twists sit right on your knitting.
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Continue to hold the yarn taut and pull the needle and yarn through not letting go of the tautness until the very end.
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Continue to add more knots as needed with the same yarn.

Here is another video and photo tutorial.

4. Beads: A lot of people in the KAL have decided to add beads for their berries. Beads will add texture and shine to the mittens. There are a couple of different ways to add beads.

  • Stringing Method – This is the way I’ve done it in the past. You string the number of beads you are going to use on your yarn before knitting. When you come to a stitch where you want to add a bead, bring the yarn to the front. Slip the stitch purlwise. Pull a bead up and place it as close to the right needle as you can. Bring the yarn to the back and continue working the row. Video.
  • Crochet Hook Method – With this method you use a small crochet hook at add the beads as you knit. Video.
  • Sewing – You could also just sew the beads on after you are finished knitting
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5 years ago by in 12 Days of Christmas KAL , Knitting , Needlecraft | You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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