If you're anything like me and the other Pimp Stitch girls, you are more than a one trick craft pony. I also enjoy crochet (obviously) and knitting when I'm not pimping my stitches.
I have been feeling Fall sneaking up on me lately and my newly shorn little boy is going to need some serious head gear to warm up that noggin. I decided to knit him up a quick roll-brim beanie...but it needed something. I decided a little embellishment was in order...but HOW to embroider on such an unstable fabric? A hoop was out because it would stretch the ever loving bejesus out of the fabric. That would mean unsightly puckering and uneven stitches. Some nice stabilizer would be great, but it wasn't enough! This warm cocoa cap would be a little more difficult for design transfer.
I googled and found very very little on embroidery on hand-knitting. I did find this tutorial and I decided to give it a go!. Let me walk you through the process and I'll tell you how it went!
Size 8 (5.0mm) 16" circular needle & 5.00mm double pointed needles for decreasing
1 Skein Vanna's Choice Yarn in Taupe
yarn needle for closing and weaving in ends
Toddler ages 1-3years
6 rows x 4.5 stitches = 1"
Directions: (you can use any hat pattern you'd like. This one is the one I made for this tutorial)
CO 70 stitches
knit straight rows for 8"
Switch to double pointed needles now
K2tog in each stitch around
K2tog around once more
Cut a long tail for closing the hole
Slip your end with a yarn needle into each stitch. Slowly remove your double pointed needles and pull end tight to close hole.
Use remaining end to secure the hole shut
Weave in ends
Now that you have your noggin warmer, it's time to get to stitchin!
You'll want to pick out an embroidery pattern that you like. I used a pattern of mine called "The Owlies" that has yet to be released. Look for it in a couple of weeks.
The Materials you'll need are shown in the photo to the left:
Your knitted piece...toddler hat in my case
Your design printed out on a sheet of paper (I just used the regular old printer paper)
Embroidery floss in the colors of your choosing
An Embroidery needle
Cut out your design leaving about 1.5" around it.
Take some scrap floss and secure your image to your knitting with a basting stitch. Make sure you don't stitch over or under your image in any places. Also make sure you do not bend or stretch your fabric during this process...it'll really mess up your work down the line. Take your time and make sure your image in placed flatly and evenly. Tie a knot to secure that basting thread. (you could also baste a piece of stabilizer to the back during this process...I haven't tried it, but I think I would try that the next time to add extra security to my stitching.
Now it's time to stitch your design! How exciting!
I used a 3 strand piece of floss and left a good long tail of it behind my first stitch to make sure I could secure it properly when I was done. You are going to stitch right through the paper (which kind of acts as the stabilizer and makes it easy to follow your image.
After some trial and error, I decided to go with the split stitch for outlining. It's a more stable stitch that won't end up looking as wonky if you make a mistake. Hand knitted fabric is not very forgiving to embroidery floss.
Stitch out your outline. I also do not recommend using very long satin stitching in this process. It will get wonky. If you want to fill in, use a fish bone or a flat stitch with short strokes.
Once you have completed stitching, you will snip your basting thread and remove it.
The you start tearing the paper away. This part is tricky...you want to start by ripping your paper into tiny strips making sure not to tug hard. If you dare, use a small pair of scissors or nippers to get in very close to your stitches and tear very gently, wiggle the paper out from under your work.
Getting you paper out from under your filled in stitches if the trickiest. Get as much as you can safely get and use tweezers and small scissors to get the rest.
A friend suggested to me, after the fact, that spraying the paper with a little water would help the tearing process. I haven't tried it, but it sounded good to me.
Once all of you paper is out, you will want to secure the loose ends and trim them short.
That's all! You have a finished hat and I have a very warm 3 year old to prove it!