Swiss darning is a way of embroidering a stitch that looks like a knit stitch, therefore perfect to work on knitted fabric.

Swiss darning is mostly used to work single motifs or to cover small areas in contrast colour on knitted background.

For that reason, it can also be included when working in Fair Isle or Intarsia techniques. To give you an idea of how your finished stitches should look, Swiss darning is the method used for embroidering the numbers and letters featured on this wall clock pattern.

knitted clock pattern

To get your clock pattern, give us a ring on 0800 024 1212 quoting code WOWE14KS0006

In this method, the contrast yarn is taken along the path of knit stitch or stitches that need to be covered and can be worked in any direction.

Swiss Darning is a way of embroidering the surface of your finished knitting to look as if the detailed knitted stitches were knitted in first-time round. It’s really clever! You can leave out any fiddly areas of colour that use very small or narrow patches – such as outlines and fine details – and embroider them on at a later stage.

royal bag designed by louise watling

If done correctly, Swiss Darning should look no different to a knitted-in design

Swiss Darning is a simple and effective way to add complex colourwork to a knitting project without the need for tricky yarn twisting. And it’s so easy! Take a look at our 3 simple tips that will have you Swiss Darning in no time…

How To Knit: Swiss Darning explained in 3 simple steps…

1. Thread a blunt darning needle with a length of yarn in your chosen colour. Bring the point of the needle through from the back at the base of the stitch to be worked and draw the yarn through, leaving an end at the back.
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2. Take the needle behind the two loops of the stitch above from right to left (above) and draw yarn through. Insert the needle into the same place as before and bring through at base of next stitch to be covered (below).
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3. Draw the yarn through to the tension of the main knitting. Continue in this way until the entire motif has been embroidered.
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Tip: Always chose yarn of same thickness as background as too thin yarn would not cover the entire stitch and too thick yarn would distort the stitch.

Make sure that you work embroidery to the same tension as background as too loose stitch will show the stitch underneath and too tight stitch would make the fabric pucker.