After years of avoiding intarsia/stranded knitting/fair isle like the plague, I discovered duplicate stitching and have been using this method ever since. What is duplicate stitching? It is a way to make it look like you have knitted a pattern or image into a piece without actually having to knit it in. The problem I was running into with intarsia/stranded knitting was that no matter how many times I tried (and I tried a LOT), I could not get the tension of my runs correct, which meant that I always wound up with a scrunchy and unwearable item. Duplicate stitching solves that problem. What you need for duplicate stitching:
1) A finished base piece that is done in stockinette
2) A chart (whatever you want!)
3) A yarn needle
4) Contrasting yarn (it is best if it is the same yarn as the yarn for your base piece)
This is my base piece:
Next, decide where you want your image to go. I start my chart in the lower right hand corner and work upwards. I find that if I start at the top and go down, the tensioning of my duplicate stitches gets weird, so I always start at the bottom and go up. If your pattern allows it, I find that it is best to work in rows rather than columns. For my pattern, I needed to work in columns.
If you look closely at your stockinette, you will see that there are v’s and ^’s. We always start with the bottom point of a v. This is the v that you are going to duplicate. Starting from the back side, put your yarn needle through this point and pull your yarn through, leaving several inches on the back to tie down/weave in.
Next, go from right to left in the v ABOVE the one you are going to duplicate and pull through.
Now put your needle through the same hold in the bottom of the v and pull through. Pull on either end of the yarn to get the tension to match the tension of the base piece. Tie a knot/secure the end of your yarn. It should look like this:
After the first stitch, you do not need to knot every stitch. Keep going like this until you have your entire image. I hope you found this helpful!