An effective way to add interest to a simple knitted garment is to add embroidery.
Chain stitch is particularly effective as horizontal and vertical lines dividing the background into large check patterns. Tack lines of stitches onto the background to form a guide for the embroidery. Thread a needle with yarn and secure to back of work at lower edge of marked vertical line. Bring needle from back to front through centre of first stitch and pull yarn through. Form the yarn into a wide circle above the line of stitching. Hold the yarn with your left thumb; re-insert the needle through the centre of the first stitch and out again through the centre of the corresponding stitch three (or more) rows above. Keep at a relaxed tension so that it does not pucker the knitted background. Repeat the process of making chains over every three (or more) rows until the line of embroidery is as long as you require. Insert the needle from front to back immediately above the last stitch worked and fasten off on back of work.
To embroider horizontal lines, turn work so that side edge of background becomes the lower edge. Secure yarn to back of work at lower edge of marked line. Bring needle from back to front between first and second stitches. Form the yarn into a wide circle above the line of stitching and hold yarn down with your left thumb. Re-insert the needle between the first and second stitches and out again after the third stitch. Make chains over every two (or more) stitches until you are finished you line. Fasten off on the wrong side.
Single French Knot
To embroider a single French knot, bring up the needle to the right side of the work. Make a loop with the thread and hold it with the left hand. Slip the needle through the loop, pull thread to tighten loop around needle and insert needle close to the point where it first emerged. Bring the needle up again in position for the next stitch.
To embroider a French knot, bring up the needle to the right side and work one short running stitch. Do not pull out the needle. Wind thread 2 or 3 times around end of needle, hold loops with left hand and pull needle through tightening loops slightly. Insert the needle again close to where the thread first came out.
Lazy Daisy Stitch
The lazy daisy stitch is often used to embroider petals. Bring out needle at base of a petal, shape loop with thread and hold it with left thumb. Insert needle at the right of where it first emerged. Bring up needle at point corresponding to top of petal and inside loop. Insert needle behind loop to hold petal in position and bring it up again at base of following petal.
To embroider the satin stitch, bring up needle to the right side of work at the top left of the shape. Insert needle at the right of the shape. Bring the needle through again just below the starting point of the first stitch. Continue working stitches close to each other so as to cover the shape completely.
Each cross in the cross stitch covers a square section of background fabric. Each square has slightly more rows than stitches. The position of the needle as you work is important. Always insert it to the side of the stitches over which you are working. If you insert the needle through the centre of a stitch, the natural elasticity of the knitting pulls the embroidery out of shape. Mark the perimeter of area to be embroidered with pins inserted after every four rows and between every three stitches. Then, using needle threaded with sewing cotton, tack lines of stitching onto the background to form a grid of squares. Each square will eventually have a cross covering it.
Thread a wool needle with your chosen yarn. Secure yarn to back of fabric. Bring needle from back to front at side of first marked stitch at lower right hand corner of first box. Working from right to left, re-insert needle from front to back after third stitch four rows above – at corner of box diagonally opposite where yarn is joined. Bring needle to front again at lower right hand corner of next box to the left, making sure that you always insert the needle between stitches.
Continue in this way, working one diagonal line of each cross, until you reach the end of the first line of pattern. Finish with the yarn at the lower left hand corner of the last box. Work from the left to right and re-insert the needle from front to back at corner of box diagonally opposite – one cross stitch is complete. Bring the needle to the front again at lower left hand corner of next box to the right. Repeat until line of crosses is complete.