How to Work in Ends with Duplicate Stitch

The best way to work in ends is with duplicate stitch on the wrong side of your work. To make it even more invisible on the right side, you can split the stitches, called skimming, as you work in your tails.

I use this method because it is the most invisible; it allows the fabric to drape without pinching or pulling up; and it is the least likely to come undone. Yarn that has been worked in using the figure eight path of duplicate stitch has a much harder time slipping out than yarn worked on a diagonal or mostly straight path – or, God forbid, knotted!

In the example below I used dark yarn for the duplicate stitch to make the instructions clear. You will be working your duplicate stitch with your sweater yarn.




To work duplicate stitch using the skimming method, study your knitting on the wrong side. You will see that every row of knitting is linked to the row above (forming frowns) and to the row below (forming smiles). You will follow the path of one row as it figure eights its way from frown to smile across the row. As you do this, split the yarn as you work each stitch. This is called skimming and it makes your weaving even more invisible.


Step 1

Pass needle up through 2 loops.


Step 2

Move needle over to create frown and pass needle down at an angle through 2 loops.


Step 3

Move the needle over to create a smile and go up at an angle through 2 loops. Keep the tension slightly looser than your knitted tension so you maintain drape.


Step 4

If you are working with a grippy yarn like wool, you only need to work 3 to 5 stitches this way. If your yarn is more slippery, work 5 to 7 stitches. Once finished, trim your yarn, leaving about a 1" (2.5 cm) tail.


Step 5

Tease the tail to rough up the yarn; this will prevent the tail from popping to the right side of your garment and will make it less likely to come undone.

Note: If you are working with a slippery yarn or one that is impossible to hide, rather than weaving in with duplicate stitch, thread a needle with sewing thread and securely whipstitch the tails to each other, then knot and clip the thread.

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