heartsocks1.jpg
I made these slipper socks from a pattern in Leigh Radford's book, One Skein. True to the name, the socks only required one skein of Lorna's Shepherd Worsted Superwash Wool. (The background fabric is from Kokka's Trefle collection, the print is Lilac Ladybugs).

These socks are intended as a gift, so I felt like jazzing them up a little. Besides attaching an I-cord to the cuff, I also embellished the heels with some hearts done in Duplicate Stitch.

Duplicate Stitch, or Swiss Darning as it is sometimes called, is a really simple way to add personality to a project. The basic concept of Duplicate Stitch is in its name. You sew over your finished knitting with a contrast color, "duplicating" the original knit stitches. It's much easier than fair-isling or intarsia. And, wonderfully, Duplicate Stitch can be an after-thought, when you think you've finished something and it's just not quite enough.

Here's a step by step how-to:

If you want to plan out your strategy, a good method is to mark the stitches you're going to "duplicate" with an erasable fabric pen. Otherwise, you can just wing it...

eraserpen.jpg 

Bring your needle from the back of the work to the front through the bottom point of a stitch, or a "V". (Leave a generous tail in the back so you can weave it in at the end.)

 step1dup.jpg

 Next, thread the needle across the stitch ABOVE the one you are dupicating.

 step2dup.jpg

And then insert the needle back into the bottom of the "V", the same place where you began. One stitch duplicated!

 step3dup.jpg

Do the same thing for the next stitch. Start at its bottom point, sew across the stitch above it, and back down your starting place.

 step4dup.jpg

If you want to duplicate vertically adjacent stitches, you'll have to sew under both the original stitch and the duplicate stitch. That's ok.

 step5dup.jpg

Keep going until you're done.

 step6dup.jpg

Try other simple drawings, letters, meandering lines, flecks of color, or whatever-else-you-can-imagine.  So easy. So satisfying.