Alpaca Direct Blog

Knitting Tutorial: Fixing A Split Stitch with Duplicate Stitch

Sometimes you'll find that you've split a stitch long after binding off when knitting. What's a knitter to do?  Re-knitting the whole item doesn't seem like a reasonable option, but don't worry, there's a much easier fix!Step1 - split stitchStep 1. Here you'll see a split stitch. This happens when you don't grab the whole strand when knitting a stitch. It'll create a bit of a whole in your knitting, but more importantly this is a weak point in your knit fabric. If your item is going to get lots of wear (which we're sure it will!) this spot is the first place that's likely to get a whole in it. So prevent the hole from forming at all! Today we're going to show you how to duplicate stitch over your split stitch to reinforce the area and hide the split stitch. Step2 - split stitch in knittingStep 2. First we'll show you in another color yarn. This fix is so invisible that if we demonstrate it with white yarn there won't be anything to see! Start by threading your tapestry needle with yarn and poke your needle through from the wrong side at the base of the stitch that you wish to duplicate. With the duplicate stitch method you are embroidering over a stitch, duplicating the yarn and placing another stitch on top of the one that was knit. Step3Step 3. Pull the yarn through the base of the stitch. Step4Step 4. Thread the tapestry needle underneath the stitch above. Be sure to go under both sides of the stitch.Step5 - fixing a split stitch in knittingStep 5. Pull the yarn through. You'll see that we've already duplicated the right side of the stitch.Step6Step 6. Now thread the yarn through the same spot where you started your duplicate stitch—in the base of the stitch, and pull through to the wrong side.Step7Step 7. Now you've duplicated your stitch! Now it's time to do it with the same color yarn as the swatch and cover up the split stitch.Step8Step 8. Follow the same steps, place the needle from the wrong side through to the front at the base of the stitch. Step9Step 9. Then work your needle underneath both sides of the stitch above, tracing the yarn with your needle. Step10Step 10. Pull the yarn through and re-insert back into your original starting point at the base of the stitch. Step11Step 11.  And Voila! There's no longer a hole in the knitting! step12Step 12. On the right is the duplicate stitch in yellow, and on the left in white. As you can tell the stitch in white is indistinguishable from the other stitches. Step13Step 13. On the back you'll see there are some ends. Just weave these in through your work just like any other end. Do not cut without weaving them in! If you cut your ends without weaving them there won't be any friction to keep the yarn from falling out and exposing your split stitch again. 

The duplicate stitch is also used to make colorwork patterns, and can also be used to fix other common mistakes. If you're working fair isle and worked a stitch in blue that was supposed to be white, just duplicate stitch over the erroneous stitch with the correct color.

If you have one purl that should have been a knit in ribbing just duplicate stitch over it!

This is a great technique that can help you to troubleshoot lots of different problems in knitting. Step14Happy knitting from your friends at!

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Posted by Sandra LaFlamme Verbos on Mon, Apr-03-2017, 06:35

I teach a lot of knitting classes and use this trick. Why is it that you think you “feel” or catch mistakes on the fly and then you see these when you’re sewing up or blocking. It’s a great way to save it and thank you for stressing the importance of fixing it. Not only does it look better but eliminates the weak spot! Great tutorial!

Posted by Melissa Burnett on Wed, Oct-05-2016, 17:59

Julie, that’s great! We really hope it helps! This method is handy for fixing all kinds of knitting errors.

Melissa @ Alpaca Direct

Posted by Julia on Wed, Oct-05-2016, 17:59

Just in time! I needed this for a baby cardigan I have knitted and had the split stitch.

Posted by Renee on Wed, Oct-05-2016, 17:59

I always check my work before binding off. If I find a mistake, it’s easy to go back and infinite down to the error, fix it and reboot up to the top. Takes time and patience, but my mother always inspected the wrong side of my work as well as the front. Easy fixes never passed muster. So I never learned this trick!

Posted by Debbie Briggs on Wed, Oct-05-2016, 17:59

Love this solution and the tutorial! Been wondering how to fix this without having to take the project apart. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Amy Franklin on Wed, Oct-05-2016, 17:59

OMG. This just what I needed! I have used this technique before for adding color. Didn’t think of using it for fixing a split stitch. Just finished a baby blanket with a split stitch.

Posted by Melissa Burnett on Wed, Oct-05-2016, 17:59

Debbie, it was a pleasure to share it! Thank you for your kind words. Duplicate stitch is really handy!

Melissa @ Alpaca Direct

Posted by Melissa Burnett on Wed, Oct-05-2016, 17:59

We LOVE when we catch them before binding off. If you give this trick a shot, you’ll also find it useful for adding colorwork to knitting. You can duplicate stitch right over the top!

Melissa @ Alpaca Direct

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