Title: Replacement Stitch / Swiss Darning

Title: Replacement Stitch / Swiss Darning


So, there you are, humming along, row after glorious row of Tunisian Crochet colourwork tumbling off your hook, and you pause for a moment to admire your progress.
And that’s when you notice it.

“Oh god. I have a stitch out of place”.

Worse still, it didn’t just happen. It was the result of a momentary lapse in concentration two days ago! ack!

And you’re left with an unenviable question; “Do I frog, or do I live with it?”
Neither option is very satisfying is it?

But luckily, my Mam taught me a third option when I was barely old enough to hold a pair of knitting needles. She called it “Swiss Darning”, which I think sounds elegant and fancy. I’ve heard it more commonly called “Replacement stitch” these days, which has the virtue of being clear and descriptive.
Whatever you chose to call it, trust me, you’ll be singing its praises.

Here’s how it works:


Examine your fabric and identify the problem
There should be white horizontal stitches to the left, and the white lines to the right should be one stitch shorter.

Thread a blunt needle (a bodkin) with a strand of the yarn you’re using.
Pro Tip: If you can’t find a blunt needle, use a regular sharp darning needle and sew backwards with it. Be careful not to jab yourself, though!

In this case, I’m using Drops Flora in Denim Blue.

Getting Started

Secure your yarn at the back of your work. This will save you from accidentally sewing through your tail and making a mess of the wrong side of your fabric.

Bring bodkin to front of work at base of the stitch you wish to hide. Pull yarn through to front.
Push bodkin under next stitch up. Make sure bodkin passes cleanly thorugh BOTH strands of the stitch.
Draw yarn through stitch. Half of the white stitch is now hidden.
Clever, huh?
Push bodkin back though the base of the white stitch.
Pull yarn to back of work. Hey presto!

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I repeated the process on the next two horizontal lines above, and then I got to fixing the missing white stitches on the left side of the work, too.

Bring bodkin to front of work at base of the stitch you wish to hide. Pull yarn through to front.
Push bodkin under next stitch up. Make sure bodkin passes cleanly thorugh BOTH strands of the stitch.
Draw yarn through stitch. Half of the blue stitch is now hidden.
Push bodkin back though the base of the blue stitch.
Pull yarn to back of work. And we have a white stitch where once there was a blue one!

Far better than all that frogging and cursing, am I right?

Oh, hey! And, this also works for knitting, too.
In fact, it was originally developed to add small colourowork detail to stocking stitch knitted fabric… so if you’re a knitter with basic skills, you’ve now learnt a fantastic way of sprucing up your knit stitches too!