I started thinking about this a couple years ago as a way to entice more knitters back to the “eyed needle” fold. There have been several patterns over the last few years in major publications that incorporate crewel work, from embroidered socks in an issue of Vogue Knitting to the Voyager Skirt in Romantic Knits.
Neither place does a really good job of explaining the problems of learning to embroider on knitting, especially in crewel stitches instead of “duplicate stitch.”
When I embroider on a piece of knitwear, I usually do it freestyle, with no pattern – because, quite frankly, transferring a pattern to a sweater is a pain. However, I would at some point like to knit the Voyager skirt, which has a very definite embroidered border. So I’ve been experimenting.
I am leaning toward recommending a wooden hoop and solvy dissolving paper stabilizer, because not only do I not like the feel of stabilizer on the back of my knits, I HATE having to work a pattern from the back, and I don’t think that particular skirt would hang correctly with stabilizer attached, so one of the dissolving stabilizers it is.
I’m going to try samples with two – the paper stabilizer and one that’s a clear plastic. I can see benefits of both, but I want to see which is easier to work with before I make recommendations. Stay tuned! 🙂