Duplicate stitch--how to not make the back look terrible?

I’m doing duplicate stitch for the first time. The back of the baby blanket already has that unfinished or wrong-side look to it, but it’s tidy and not bad to look at. I’m putting in some white sheep onto a green background though, and although from the front the first sheep was looking ok, from the back it looked terrible! I know the sheep won’t come out on the back, but I at least want to preserve that overall look of neatness. Part of my dilemma is that apparently duplicate stitch only goes right to left or left to right or bottom to top. The shape of the sheep prevents me from doing it with a single thread; so I have ends everywhere and no idea how to weave them in neatly. Can anyone give me some guidance on this?



Here are some neat ways to weave in ends. I use either the straight up and down or the diagonal line and not the duplicate stitch for ends.

If you’re not happy with the look on the back (and this would have been a bit of a problem with intarsia as well as duplicate st), you may want to line the blanket. Use a fairly light material, stitch it down inside the edging and tack it at intervals to the central portion of the blanket.

This link was really helpful! I like the look of some of those weaves. I have sort of one last question. I have a very irregular pattern to duplicate stitch (it’s a sheep, 2 colors).

You can see what the sheep look like here:

So I read you can go left to right, right to left, and bottom to top. But the pattern is such that I will have to use multiple segments of thread, so I’ll definitely have more than 2 ends to weave in. How do you handle these irregular shapes? For instance, I could use a separate segment of thread for each column, going bottom to top, with a pair of ends to weave for each column. Or I could just do each right, let’s say left to right, and again have 2 ends to weave in per row. I tried dividing it into ‘blocks’ the first time, and had a bunch of ends here and there, but I didn’t like how that looked from the back because it was too irregular. Any suggestions on how to partition the pattern?

Thanks again…I’m getting close…


It’s not going to fit into a neat square or rectangle but then that often happens with patterns. Duplicate stitch of names or initials can have the same problem. You may have to cross the thread over to the outlying areas (the areas of one or two sts like the legs) in order to fill in. It’s not ideal as far as the appearance goes but it can be done fairly neatly and without lots of ends.