To add colour to a previously knitted item, Swiss darning is perfect. Swiss darning or duplicate stitch as it is sometimes known, can be used to strategically place a pre-designed motif to reflect the wearer’s personality. Swiss darning can be applied in the moment, as the mood takes you. I knitted a garment which included a Fair Isle pattern of muted colours and it worked out really well but it needed a bit more colour within the motifs and elsewhere in the cardigan. I added Swiss darning between the Fair Isle stitches and in a different area, the sleeves. The changes gave the garment a uniqueness and the colours seemed brighter even though I had only used more of the original knitting colours.
My Diamond Cowl pattern http://www.ravelry.com, I designed using Swiss darning to add colour to a plain background. The maker, Swiss darns motifs within the diamond shaped panels with embroidery wool/4ply used double. My pattern includes suggested motifs. A Diamond Cowl Kit containing wool for the cowl, coloured embroidery wool for the Swiss darning and patterns is available from http://www.patonanddaughter.co.uk The motifs could easily be changed to suit the hobbies, character, interests of the wearer.
Swiss Darning is a good introduction to colour work knitting. It makes the knitter aware of stitch construction, tension and colour combinations and avoids floats. Floats are strands of yarn which hang across the back of your work. They begin when the coloured yarn is not being used and end when the colour is being used. Floats can become troublesome when one colour is used for more than 4 stitches. They can be caught on jewellery, fingers etcetera. Floats and float management are for another day’s blog.
In the meantime enjoy Swiss darning and explore your own exciting design work.