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We begin today with an update on the MDK door sign project.

(Here’s where this cockamamie project began.)

In short: it takes less time than you might think to knit up a sign and duplicate-stitch a logo.

But it’s not that fast, either.

I just finished up the K, and I haven’t blocked this yet. I like the dimensionality of the letters but think it will flatten once I do some stuff to it. Firing up the Rowenta even as I write.

Some of you asked for a tutorial in duplicate stitch. Here’s the most succinct one I could find, thanks to Wikihow.

My favorite instruction in here: “Don’t pull too tightly or you will have a crumple. Don’t leave too loose or your stitches will hang. This will take practice.” Man, if that isn’t advice for living, I just don’t know what is.

Tips for Successful Duplicate Stitch

Think of this as counted cross stitch. Your stockinette background is the grid; your chart is your guide to where you’ll be stitching onto that grid.

Do not rush. This is not needlepoint you crank by the yard. You’re adding a second stitch on top of an already-existing stitch, so there’s a challenge here to make the new stitch cover the old one completely and evenly.

Noodge and afteryank. Because the stitches in this logo are stacked vertically or horizontally, the legs of each duplicate stitch pull one way or the other. There’s a fair amount of noodging and afteryanking. At least, that was my experience.

Trust your chart. Remember that your chart is not an accurate representation of how it will look knitted. Edges will be toothier because each stitch is a V, not a rectangle. Curves look better when knitted than they do on the chart. It’s still pixelated, but you can see what I’m talking about here:

Use Stitch Fiddle. Reminder that Stitch Fiddle is the app that I used to convert the MDK logo into a knitting chart. I can think of all sorts of things I’d like to chart up now. Pretty addicting.

I’m still on the fence about adding a log cabin border. I think it would help make it hang well, and it would add an orange frame that would make this thing show up better on our white door at MDK World Headquarters. What do you think?


In the MDK Shop
A delightful project for using duplicate stitch to make a very special gift! Thanks for your Shop purchases. They set everything sailing here at MDK.
By Ann Shayne and Modern Daily Knitting


  • Orange border! Oh, yes – that will transform it from a gorgeous monogrammed hankie to a fantastic sign!

  • I agree. An orange border will make it stand out on a door. And btw, you are a trouble maker, lol. Now there’s another great idea planted firmly in my head. Thank you.

  • I love the sign as is! No contrasting border necessary

  • My feeling is, it looks great the way it is! (But an orange border would make it stand out from the door more.) It could be mounted as is on something that will serve to make it stand out from your white door which could be a good solution.

  • Love the sign!! Yes , a border would be a gray frame! Or you could actually put it in a frame without glass.

  • 100% yes on the log cabin border. I just rewatched the 5 seasons of FNL and it was just as good as the first. Texas forever!

  • Your workmanship is beautiful!

  • I think the border would make it complete!

  • After viewing the duplicate stitch video, I want to add pictures to all my handknits. I mean, everything could use a monogram, right?

    • I know! Anything! I just watched Lincoln (highly recommended for Daniel Day-Lewis’s extraordinary performance) and want to knit up the Second Inaugural Address.

  • I am a FNL virgin, just starting the first season. It’s a delight.

    • So good, so good. You’re gonna have one season that seems totally weirdo (no spoilers), but hang in there!

  • But….where are Kermit’s thoughts on this???




      • I would wear a sweater with Kermit’s face. OR we could hang his knitted portrait on the wall at World HQ.

        JUST SAYIN

  • You know I’m all in for a log cabin border! What says MDK more than LOG CABIN? Also, it will help the sign not blend into the door. DO IT!

  • Most excellent sign!

  • You have not consulted me on this but I recommend that the border be Courthouse Steps-style. Do the short ends first then the long sides.

    That is all.

    PS Please make one for the NYC bureau.

    • If Ann’s going quilts, how about courthouse steps with prairie points? Too much? (I’ve been making tiny granddaughter crowns and there is a slight possibility that I may be a bit obsessed with knitting points.)

    • Oh yes…I was kinda no border (a frame would do), but Courthouse Steps! Perfect.

  • Dunno. Really like the seedy edge . . . Maybe mount it on a piece of orange foamcore board so it would pop against the door.

  • Long time duplicate stitch lover here. I find it meditative. The sign is great, but I’m on Team Log Cabin Border.

  • If the K is Kermit’s initial, I wonder what he thinks the M and D stand for? More dinner?

    • More Dinner (from FOODLADY) 🙂

  • You could get a nice wood frame, custom matched to the color of the letters (with or without glass). That would protect and support the knitted fabric and give you the pop of color against the white door.

  • I most emphatically want to recommend having this piece framed by Paige Miller of Frame and Fiber. @paigetheframer on Instagram – She knows framing and knitting equally well!

  • Noodging and afteryanking need to be added to the Oxford American Dictionary. Looking into it now.

    • I had to google those words being a lover of new words and particularly about all things yarnie. Noodging is complaining and I didn’t find afteryanking (all one word) nor spilitting it into two words… thinking it means to sorta hand block to even out the work, particularly corners…..right angles..

  • I’m all for lily-gilding, so I am also a fan of the proposed orange log-cabin border. Thanks to both you and Kay, log cabin and the ballband dishcloth pattern were among the first things I knit after my apprenticeship in the Exploration of the Long Rectangle. (i.e., scarves, scarves, SCARVES), so seeing either of them always adds to my enjoyment of any knitting project. Oh, and Kermit is doing a great job. He is as beautiful as always, and his pointing-to-the-product skills are, well, on point!

  • This looks so good! I hope the relief will be retained, even if subtly, after blocking.
    I won’t have an opinion on the border question (well, not *this* border question…there are so many these days) until after the sign-to-date has been blocked. And until you’ve figured out how you want to present and support it on the door. And I’ll bet by then you will have already decided!

  • Is there anything more MDK than a log cabin border? I suggest you knit it in rowan denim though, to leave no doubt that it is as authentically MDK as possible.

  • I suggest a border with two colors; orange and blue. Complimentary colors so your shop sign will pop from every angle! Happy stitching, barbara

  • Ooh, ’tis sweet, the welcome mat. I’m probably more trouble….. I read the commentary about making the border the same color as the lettering… it possible to duplicate stitch the border…..but just e/o (every other) stitch and alternate the placement in the next round? Sabe? ((: Can you run a test without killing the mat?

    So, I’m new to the fray here and want to thank you and yours for the great ‘pick-me-up’ your site provides!!

    • Welcome to you! I hope you’ll burn endless hours poking around MDK! Tell your friends! We’re here every day . . .

      At this point the MDK Banner of Joy has found its destiny on the door of MDK World Headquarters. I ended up doing a log cabin border in the red of the logo—happy to have the thing finished!

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