4 Easy Ways to Dress Up Plain Stockinette Stitch

Using basic knitting stitches like stockinette stitch and garter stitch are great when you're looking for an easy, quick pattern. But sometimes those stitches need a little something special. That's where embellishments come in.

You don't need any special skills or supplies to embellish. In fact, a lot of embellishments just require yarn and a tapestry needle. Check out four simple ways you can embellish plain stockinette stitch -- or any knitting project that just needs something extra.

Duplicate stitch

Duplicate stitch uses a tapestry needle and yarn to mimic knit stitches. It's a great alternative to intarsia since it adds nice little blocks of color.

Mason Jar Cozy knitting pattern

Photo via Bluprint member goodknits

The really awesome thing about duplicate stitch is that it can be added any time. Maybe you have a cup cozy like the one pictured above that's super plain. You can add duplicate stitches any time!

Get the FREE Mason Jar Cozy with Duplicate Stitch pattern here.

Get the duplicate stitch tutorial.

How to knit a mug cozy

Photo via Bluprint writer Andrea Sanchez

Here's another example of duplicate stitch. You don't have to add bigger blocks of color; you can just outline something like a heart or any other shape.

Get a tutorial for how to knit a mug cozy.

Duplicate Stitch Pillow

Photo via Bluprint member Amy Alan

Duplicate stitch can be stitched right over any type of fabric. This pillow is an upcycled sweater with a duplicate stitch heart.

See more photos of the Duplicate Stitch Heart Pillow, plus a link to a free tutorial.


It's understandable that some knitters are intimidated by embroidery. There are so many stitches! But you're a crafty genius, so pick out an embroidery stitch or two that you really like and go for it. These examples will give you a few ideas.

Get more ideas for adding embroidery to your knitting.

Flock Together Mitts knitting pattern

Photo via Bluprint member redribbonfox

A simple backstitch creates the center of this feather, and the feather itself is nothing crazy. If you can wield a tapestry needle, then you'll have no problems embellishing with embroidery!

Get the Flock Together Mitts pattern here.

Embroidered Fingerless Gloves knitting pattern


Photo via Bluprint member melmaria

Even sticking with basic running stitches and back stitches can add a lot of color and interesting designs. Check out what those basic stitches did for this plain pair of fingerless gloves.

Get the Embroidered Fingerless Gloves pattern here.


Buttons can change up the style of your stockinette or garter stitch in a snap. The best part about buttons is that they're budget-friendly. You probably already have dozens of buttons stashed in a drawer somewhere that could be used as an embellishment.

Band of Buttons pillow knitting pattern


Photo via Bluprint member Ladyship

Here's an example of how buttons can totally control the style of your project. This pillow band uses buttons in various sizes. I could also picture a fun kid's pillow that uses lots of different colors and shapes.

Get the Band of Buttons Pillow Cover pattern here.

Snuggies Buttoned Boots knitting pattern


Photo via Bluprint member TD Patterns

You don't have to get crazy with button embellishments. Even two small buttons can add something extra to items like these baby booties.

Get the Snuggies Buttoned Boots pattern here.

Dropped stitches

Dropped stitches are an easy way to change up stockinette stitch, but you have to do a bit more planning than you would with other embellishments that are added after the project is complete. These two patterns are great examples of how stockinette stitch changes when you add those dropped stitches.

See more examples of dropping stitches on purpose.

Knit Drop Stitch Scarf knitting pattern


Photo via Bluprint member natalya1905

Sure, you could knit a scarf in plain stockinette stitch and call it a day. But add rows of dropped stitches every now and then and you'll have a fashionable scarf that looks way more complicated than it actually is.

Get the Knit Drop Stitch Scarf pattern here.

Easy Drop Stitch Striped Scarf knitting pattern

Photo via Bluprint member cchant

Dropped stitches don't have to be dramatic. This scarf is a little more on the casual side, but it uses dropped stitches to add a variation in texture that's a change from its plain garter stitch.

Get the FREE Easy Drop Stitch Striped Scarf pattern here.

How do you dress up your plain stitches like stockinette and garter stitch?

March 19, 2015
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4 Easy Ways to Dress Up Plain Stockinette Stitch