Embroidering on Knitting: Tips and Techniques for an Eye-catching Finish

Embroidering on Knitting: Tips and Techniques for an Eye-catching Finish

If you’re a knitting enthusiast looking to add some extra flair to your projects, embroidery is a great way to do it. Embroidery on knitting can transform a simple piece into a work of art, adding dimension, texture, and personalization. Whether you want to embellish a scarf, sweater, or hat, learning how to embroider on knitting is a skill worth mastering.

Embroidering on knitting involves using a needle and thread to stitch decorative designs onto your knitted fabric. The key to successful embroidery on knitting lies in understanding the properties of both the knitted fabric and embroidery thread. Knitted fabric stretches and moves with wear, so it’s essential to choose embroidery stitches and threads that can accommodate this movement.

One essential tip for embroidering on knitting is to use embroidery stitches that will not pull or distort the knitted fabric. Simple stitches like running stitch, backstitch, and chain stitch work well on knitting. These stitches provide stability and allow the fabric to retain its stretch.

Another important technique to master is anchoring your embroidery thread securely in your knitting. This prevents your embroidery from unraveling or loosening over time. You can achieve this by weaving your thread through the existing stitches on the back of your knitting or by threading it through the yarn overs and purl bumps.

Embroidery on knitting offers endless possibilities for creativity and personal expression. From delicate floral motifs to bold geometric designs, you can combine different embroidery stitches, thread colors, and textures to create unique and eye-catching embellishments. So, if you’re ready to take your knitting projects to the next level, why not give embroidery a try?

What is Embroidery on Knitting?

Embroidery on knitting is a technique that involves adding decorative stitches to a knitted garment or fabric. It is a way to personalize and embellish knitting projects, adding beautiful designs, patterns, and textures.

Embroidery on knitting can be done using a variety of techniques, including surface embroidery, counted thread embroidery, and needlepoint. It can be worked using different types of yarn, thread, or floss. The embroidery can be done directly on the knitted fabric or on a separate piece that is later sewn onto the knitting.

Embroidery on knitting allows you to create unique and customized designs, adding an extra touch of creativity to your knitted projects. It can be used to highlight specific parts of a garment, such as the neckline or cuffs, or to create overall patterns and motifs.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to embroidery on knitting. You can use different stitches, colors, and materials to achieve different effects and styles. You can create intricate floral designs, geometric patterns, or simple motifs. The choice is yours!

Embroidery on knitting is a skill that can be learned and mastered, even if you are new to both knitting and embroidery. With practice and patience, you can create stunning embroidered knits that are truly one-of-a-kind.

If you are interested in learning how to embroider on knitting, there are many resources available, including books, online tutorials, and workshops. So why not give it a try and add a new dimension to your knitting projects?

Benefits of Embroidery on Knitting

  • Enhances the Design: Embroidery adds a beautiful and intricate element to knitting projects. It allows you to personalize your work and create unique designs that stand out.
  • Adds Texture: Embroidery on knitting can add texture and dimension to your projects. You can use different stitches and thread types to create various textures that make your knitting more interesting and visually appealing.
  • Repairs and Covers Mistakes: Embroidery can be a great way to cover up mistakes in your knitting. If you make a stitching error or a hole in your knitting, you can use embroidery to creatively repair it and make it look intentional.
  • Expands Your Skill Set: Learning how to embroider on knitting expands your skill set as a knitter. It introduces you to new techniques, stitches, and materials, allowing you to grow and improve as a crafter.
  • Offers Creative Freedom: Embroidery on knitting gives you creative freedom to experiment with different colors, patterns, and designs. You can use embroidery to create intricate motifs, floral patterns, or geometric shapes that reflect your personal style.
  • Makes Gifts and Personalized Items: Embroidered knitting projects make excellent gifts for friends and family. You can personalize your projects by adding initials, names, or meaningful symbols, making them extra special for the recipients.
  • Allows You to Customize Ready-Made Knits: If you have purchased a plain knitted item, embroidery allows you to customize it and make it unique. You can add embellishments, patterns, or small details to transform a basic knit into a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
  • Brings Joy and Satisfaction: Embroidery on knitting can be a calming and meditative activity. It allows you to immerse yourself in the creative process and experience the joy and satisfaction of turning a plain piece of fabric or yarn into a work of art.

Tips for Embroidering on Knitting

Embroidering on knitting can add beautiful details and embellishments to your projects. Here are some tips to help you achieve great results:

  1. Choose the right yarn: When embroidering on knitting, it’s important to consider the thickness and texture of your yarn. Thinner yarns work best for delicate designs, while thicker yarns can create more bold and prominent embroidery.
  2. Use a tapestry needle: A tapestry needle with a blunt tip is ideal for embroidering on knitting. This type of needle will easily pass through the stitches without snagging or splitting the yarn.
  3. Plan your design: Before you start embroidering, it’s helpful to plan out your design on paper or create a rough sketch on the knitting itself. This will give you a clear guide to follow and help you avoid any mistakes or inconsistencies.
  4. Secure your yarn ends: To prevent your embroidery from unraveling, make sure to securely weave in any loose yarn ends. This will ensure that your stitches remain intact and do not come undone.
  5. Use embroidery hoops or frames: Using an embroidery hoop or frame can help keep your knitting taut and smooth while you work. This will make it easier to create even and consistent stitches.
  6. Experiment with different stitches: There are many different embroidery stitches that you can use on knitting, such as backstitch, chain stitch, or French knots. Try experimenting with different stitches to add texture and dimension to your embroidery.
  7. Practice on a swatch: If you’re new to embroidering on knitting, it’s a good idea to practice on a swatch or scrap piece of knitting before working on your actual project. This will help you get a feel for the stitches and test different techniques.
  8. Take your time: Embroidering on knitting requires patience and attention to detail. Take your time and work slowly to ensure that your stitches are neat and even. Don’t rush the process and enjoy the meditative nature of embroidery.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to create stunning embroidered details on your knitting projects. Have fun experimenting with different designs and techniques!

Choose the Right Yarn

When embroidering on knitting, it is important to choose the right yarn that will not only complement your project but also work well with the stitching techniques you plan to use. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect yarn:

  • Fiber content: Consider the fiber content of the yarn. While natural fibers like cotton and wool are popular choices for knitting, they may not be the best option for embroidery. Synthetic fibers like acrylic or nylon tend to hold up better when it comes to the pull and tension of embroidery stitches.
  • Weight: Choose a yarn weight that matches the weight or thickness of your knitting. This will ensure that your embroidery stitches are evenly distributed and do not pucker the fabric. For example, if you are working with a bulky knit, use a bulky weight yarn for the embroidery.
  • Color: Consider the color of the yarn and how well it will contrast or blend with your knitting. If you want your embroidery to stand out, choose a yarn color that contrasts with the color of your knitting. If you want a more subtle effect, select a yarn color that is similar to the knitting.
  • Texture: Pay attention to the texture of the yarn. Smooth yarns like mercerized cotton or acrylic will create crisp and defined embroidery stitches, while textured or fuzzy yarns may obscure the details of your stitching.

Remember to always swatch and test different yarns before starting your project. This will help you determine the best yarn choice for your specific knitting and embroidery combination.

Use the Right Needles

When you are embroidering on knitting, it is important to use the right needles. Choosing the appropriate needle size and type can make a big difference in the quality of your embroidery and ensure that your stitches are secure and neat.

Here are some tips for selecting the right needles:

  • Choose a needle size that matches your yarn weight: The size of your needle should correspond to the weight of yarn you are using. If you are working with a lighter weight yarn, choose a smaller needle, and if you are using a heavier weight yarn, opt for a larger needle. This will ensure that your stitches are the right size and won’t pull the fabric too tightly.
  • Consider the type of embroidery you are doing: Different embroidery techniques require different types of needles. For example, if you are doing a simple backstitch, a sharp needle with a pointed tip may be suitable. On the other hand, for more complex embroidery stitches like chain stitch or French knots, a tapestry needle with a blunt tip may work better.
  • Choose the right needle length: The length of your needle should be long enough to comfortably hold your stitches, but not so long that it becomes difficult to maneuver. A needle that is too short may result in cramped stitches, while a needle that is too long may be cumbersome to work with.
  • Consider the material of your needles: Needles come in a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, and wood. Each material has its own feel and texture, so choose one that you find comfortable to work with. Some knitters prefer the smoothness of metal needles, while others like the warmth and flexibility of wooden needles.

By using the right needles for your embroidery on knitting projects, you can ensure that your stitches are secure, the fabric is not damaged, and your finished project looks professional and polished.

Techniques for Embroidering on Knitting

Embroidering on knitting can add a personal touch and unique design elements to your knitted projects. Here are some techniques to help you get started:

  • Choose the right yarn: When embroidering on knitting, it’s important to choose a yarn that complements your project. Consider using a yarn that is similar in weight and fiber content to the knitting yarn.
  • Plan your design: Before you start embroidering, it’s helpful to plan out your design. You can sketch it on graph paper or use an embroidery design software.
  • Use a tapestry needle: A tapestry needle with a blunt tip is ideal for embroidering on knitting. It will easily glide through the stitches without splitting the yarn.
  • Secure your yarn: To start embroidering, secure the yarn to the back of the knitting. You can do this by weaving the yarn through a few stitches or by using a small knot.
  • Embroidery stitches: There are many embroidery stitches you can use on knitting, such as backstitch, chain stitch, and satin stitch. Experiment with different stitches to achieve different effects.
  • Avoid puckering: To prevent your embroidery from puckering the knitting, be mindful of the tension. Avoid pulling the yarn too tightly or using stitches that are too large.
  • Finishing: After you’ve finished embroidering, secure the yarn on the back of the knitting by weaving it through a few stitches. Trim any excess yarn, but be careful not to cut the knitting.

With these techniques, you’ll be able to add beautiful and intricate embroidery to your knitted projects. Get creative and have fun exploring different designs and stitches!

Surface Embroidery

Surface embroidery is a popular technique for adding decorative stitches to your knitting projects. It involves using a needle and thread to create designs on the surface of the knitted fabric. Here are some tips and techniques to get you started:

  • Choose the right needle and thread: For surface embroidery, it’s important to use a needle with a large eye and a blunt tip, such as a tapestry needle. This will allow you to easily thread your needle and prevent it from splitting the yarn. As for the thread, choose a color that complements your knitting and a weight that suits the desired effect.
  • Plan your design: Before you start stitching, it’s helpful to plan your design on paper or on the knitting itself. You can use graph paper or make a sketch of your desired pattern. This will help you visualize how the embroidery will look on the knitted fabric and guide your stitching.
  • Use a hoop or frame: To make stitching easier and to prevent puckering of the fabric, it’s recommended to use a hoop or frame to hold the knitted fabric taut. This will ensure even stitches and a neater finished look.
  • Start with simple stitches: If you’re new to surface embroidery, it’s best to start with simple stitches and gradually work your way up to more complex designs. Some basic stitches to begin with include the backstitch, running stitch, and satin stitch.
  • Experiment with different techniques: Surface embroidery offers a wide range of techniques to explore. You can create different effects by varying the stitch length, density, and tension. You can also add texture by using different types of stitches, such as French knots, chain stitches, or seed stitches.
  • Secure loose ends: To prevent your embroidery from unraveling, make sure to secure the loose ends of your thread by weaving them into the back of your stitches. This will create a neat and durable finish.

With practice and experimentation, surface embroidery can add a beautiful and personalized touch to your knitted projects. Whether you’re embellishing a hat, scarf, or sweater, this technique allows you to showcase your creativity and create unique designs.

Intarsia Embroidery

Intarsia embroidery is a technique where different colored yarns are used to create picture or geometric designs within a knitted fabric. This technique can be used to add detailed and vibrant designs to your knitting projects.

To get started with intarsia embroidery, you will need multiple colors of yarn, a tapestry needle, and a piece of graph paper or a chart of the design you want to create. Here are the basic steps to follow:

  1. Choose your design: Select a design that you want to create using intarsia embroidery. It can be a simple geometric pattern or a more complex picture.
  2. Create a chart: Use graph paper or a charting software to create a chart of your design. Each square on the chart represents a stitch in your knitting.
  3. Prepare your yarn: Wind small bobbins or butterflies of each color yarn that you will be using. This will make it easier to work with the different colors.
  4. Start knitting: Follow the chart and knit the base fabric in the main color yarn. When you reach a stitch that requires a different color, drop the main color yarn, pick up the new color yarn, and start knitting with it.
  5. Carry the yarn: When you switch colors, you will need to carry the unused yarn behind the stitches. Be sure to twist the two yarns around each other at the color change to prevent holes in your knitting.
  6. Embroider the design: Once your base fabric is complete, use the chart as a guide to embroider the design onto your knitting. Thread the tapestry needle with the desired color yarn and follow the chart, stitching over the knit stitches to create the design.
  7. Weave in ends: Once the design is complete, weave in any loose ends of yarn to secure them and give your project a polished finish.

Intarsia embroidery allows you to add intricate and personalized designs to your knitting projects. With practice and creativity, you can create stunning and unique pieces that showcase your embroidery skills.

Duplicate Stitch Embroidery

Duplicate stitch embroidery is a technique used to add decorative designs or patterns to knitted items. It involves sewing additional yarn onto the surface of the knitted fabric, following the existing stitches to create a design.

Materials Needed:

  • Knitted item to embroider on
  • An embroidery needle
  • Embroidery floss or yarn in desired colors
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle (optional)

Steps to perform Duplicate Stitch Embroidery:

  1. Choose a design or pattern you want to embroider on your knitted item.
  2. Thread your embroidery needle with the desired color of embroidery floss or yarn.
  3. Start by bringing the needle from the back of the knitted fabric to the front at the base of the stitch you want to duplicate.
  4. Follow the path of the existing stitch, bringing the needle back to the back of the fabric through the same hole at the top of the stitch.
  5. Repeat this process for each stitch in the design, making sure to keep your stitches consistent in length and tension.
  6. For different colored sections of the design, cut the embroidery floss or yarn and start a new strand at the desired location.
  7. Continue embroidering until you have completed the entire design.

Tips for Duplicate Stitch Embroidery:

  • Use a tapestry needle to make it easier to pull the yarn through the knitted fabric.
  • Take care not to pull the embroidery stitches too tight, as this can distort the knitted fabric.
  • If you make a mistake, simply remove the embroidery stitches by pulling gently on the yarn.
  • Practice on a scrap piece of knitted fabric before embroidering on your actual project.

Duplicate stitch embroidery is a great way to add personalized touches and embellishments to your knitted items. With a little practice, you can create beautiful designs and patterns to make your knits truly unique.

Finishing Touches

Once you have completed your embroidery design on your knit project, there are a few finishing touches you can add to enhance the overall appearance.

Blocking: Before adding any finishing touches, it is important to block your knit project to ensure that it lays flat and all the stitches are even. This can be done by soaking your project in water and gently shaping it to the desired size and shape. Allow it to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Weaving in Ends: If you have any loose yarn ends from changing colors or starting and finishing threads, it is essential to weave them in so that they are secure and not visible. Use a yarn needle to carefully weave the ends into the stitches on the wrong side of the work.

Adding Edgings: An easy way to add a finished look to your knit project is by adding an edging. This can be done by picking up stitches along the edges and working a simple ribbed or garter stitch border. You can also crochet an edging or sew on a pre-made trim for a decorative touch.

Embroidering Details: If you want to add more embroidery details to your knit project, you can do so after completing the main design. Consider adding additional flowers, leaves, or other motifs to enhance the overall look.

Embroidery Stitches: Experiment with different embroidery stitches to add texture and dimension to your design. You can try techniques such as satin stitch, French knots, or backstitch to create interesting effects.

Final Pressing: Once all the finishing touches have been added, give your knit project a final press with an iron set to a low heat. This will help to smooth out any wrinkles and give your embroidery a polished appearance.

By paying attention to these finishing touches, you can take your embroidered knit projects to the next level and create truly stunning pieces.


What is embroidery on knitting?

Embroidery on knitting is a technique where you use a needle and thread to create decorative designs on knitted garments or accessories.

What materials do I need to embroider on knitting?

To embroider on knitting, you will need a knitting project, embroidery floss or yarn, an embroidery needle, and embroidery scissors.

Can I embroider on any type of knitting project?

Yes, you can embroider on any type of knitting project, whether it’s a sweater, hat, scarf, or even socks.

What are some popular embroidery stitches for knitting?

Some popular embroidery stitches for knitting include the backstitch, chain stitch, satin stitch, and lazy daisy stitch.

How do I prepare my knitting project for embroidery?

To prepare your knitting project for embroidery, you will need to block it to ensure it is smooth and even. You can also draw your design on the knitting with a water-soluble marker if you prefer.

Are there any tips for embroidering on knitting?

Yes, here are some tips for embroidering on knitting: use embroidery floss or yarn that is similar in weight and texture to your knitting, work slowly and carefully to avoid snagging the yarn, and secure your stitches at the back of the project to prevent them from unraveling.

Can I wash my knitted project after embroidering?

Yes, you can wash your knitted project after embroidering. It’s best to hand wash it using gentle detergent and cold water, and lay it flat to dry to prevent any distortion or stretching.


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