Swiss darning is a way of embroidering a stitch that looks like a knit stitch therefore perfect to work on knitted fabric. It 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. Swiss darn is the method used for embroidering the numbers and letters featured on the wall clock pattern in this week’s issue:

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 directions.

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.

Swiss darning technique

Thread a blunt darning needle with length of yarn in chosen colour. Bring point of needle through from back at base of the stitch to be worked and draw yarn through, leaving an end at the back, take needle behind the 2 loops of the stitch above from right to left (fig 1) and draw yarn through, insert needle into same place as before and bring through at base of next stitch to be covered (fig 2), draw yarn through to the tension of main knitting. Continue in this way until entire motif is embroidered.

Swiss darning method

Swiss darning how to