TSTC Week 5: The Chevron Stitch

January 31, 2007

SharonB‘s week 5 stitch challenge is underway and I am behind


I’m through the “crunch” time and have been catching up with the flickr group. I have such a good time wandering through the blogs and flickr photos. I could spend hours on the blog links and I’m doing that as fast as possible! There are such lovely things to see! I can’t fully express the gratitude I have for all the stitchers participating!

This week is the Chevron stitch. Last evening I had an opportunity to play with it. I might have stretched the limits a bit. I hope it will still be considered a chevron stitch when I put the top on only one side, but perhaps not. This morning I checked Sharon’s Stitch Dictionary and found a new variation. I have to be patient and wait to try it out since I have a meeting tonight.

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Cretan stitch–more trials

January 27, 2007


The picture above shows some trials I did with density. I enjoyed testing this and loved some of the very dense results on the right side. I tried a much longer stitch below and to the left of the circle. This is full coverage without the definite ridge areas as on the right. But I had to use a line of Cretan stitches on the far left to help hold the curve since my stitches got too long. Every thing else I was trying to do with density is pretty evident.


Beads are another thing I wanted to test. I was thinking about when to attach the bead in the stitching and what happens with various sizes of the stitch. It’s raining here in the central valley so my pictures are not “true to life” color today. And unfortunately that is certainly showing up the most in this picture. These are variegated blue green beads with a peach thread! When I have time I want to try various bead placements once the stitching is done. The other thing I would like to try is layers of bead placement for some of these attachments above. In other words, what would happen if I stitched another row 2 threads down or 4 threads down. And what would happen if that row was staggered compared to being an exact match.

I’ve been working on some designs and so I’ve not been visiting blogs or the flicker site as much the past few days to see what every one has been doing. And I may not have time to go through Sharon’s roundup until Monday. I can hardly wait to be past this “crunch” time! But just in working with what I’ve been doing the last few days has been making me think about how much I enjoy the technical part of seeing what a stitch will do. And to have that knowledge available to use when I’m doing a design gives me a greater range and freedom of expression. The designing is much more satisfying than the technical work, but I think I’m beginning to see the interaction between the two as much more vital than I have before.

Well, below are my circles, I’m still pretty amused by them since I still need more “technical” work with them before they are ready for me to use any design! Again the peach colors are way off!


I worked on a few linear things this week.The first one is some couching of the thicker peach thread. The second, layers of the Cretan stitch with some varied interweaving.

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And the very last linear one is using the detached chain stitch. This morning I finally snapped a picture that is in focus, so I just tacked it on here at the end.


Cretan stitch explorations

January 25, 2007

I’ve been thinking and stitching! What is the Cretan stitch? To me it seems like a buttonhole stitch with the rule that every stitch must go in the opposite direction to the one just completed. Then I think perhaps it it a feather stitch of some kind.

My card reader is working again, I fiddled and fiddled with it yesterday. I don’t know which “fiddle” or combination of “fiddles” got it going again. But I’m so thankful it works!

So this is a rather strange collection of things I’ve been doing the past couple of days. I did keep a few of my very crazy attempts at circles, I had a good time trying and laughing over them. Perhaps today, I will catch the proper idea and it will trickle down into my execution of them.


Then I got carried away with the texture in diamonds. I’m not sure how well it comes across in the pictures. But I had to try it with every thread readily at hand that could go through the linen. And the backs are beautiful, too. I wouldn’t be ashamed to use this on a table linen or something where the back side would be readily visible. I think the ends could be buried in the front side or run along on the back as a purposeful “couched” look.


Then I tried a few linear things, too. But so far I’ve only got one photo that cleared the editing ok.


This last one is from last week’s detached chain stitch. And I see I forgot to edit one of the pictures so perhaps I will try to put that up soon. But it looks just like the green and purple line with a mirror image, or in other words, like a full flower. I did that with a blue Perle 8 instead of the Perle 5s in this picture. I tried it with 100/3 thread but that didn’t work out well. I think 100/3 doesn’t hold it’s shape well enough to be effective.


TSTC Week 4 Cretan Stitch

January 24, 2007

I’m so looking forward to the work this week with the Cretan stitch. You may see SharonB’s wonderful introduction to this stitch here. (And don’t forget her stitch dictionary.) Sharon showed using this stitch in a circle and I tried it last night. I nearly died laughing at myself! I never mark my cloth, I eyeball it. Well, maybe it is time for me start marking. I’ve been fussing around with some experiments from the buttonhole and detached chain stitch.

I just went to edit and upload my pictures and Photoshop Elements is not recognizing my card in the drive. I can’t imagine what has gone wrong at the moment. I’m going to have to fiddle around with this more after work. In the meantime this is some of my work with the Cretan stitch in Sharon PLS class.


SharonB’s classes at Joggles

January 22, 2007

Sharon has some great classes about to begin. One is about encrusting crazy quilts. The other, developing a personal library of stitches. Please, take a moment to check them out. They are well worth the cost involoved. I can personally vouch for the personal library class. I took it at the end of last year. It made a big impact on my stitching and my thoughts about my work.

Sharon is a great teacher and her written material and photos illustrating all the “how to’s” of the stitches she introduces is excellent. This is not just stitches from her stitch dictionary. These lessons take you into stitches that I think you will not easily find other places. And the other very big plus is that she introduces major design concepts in the lessons along with many tips from her experience.

In addition to the great class lessons, the forum at Joggles is a wonderful place for everyone to interact. The forum is easy to use and Sharon is in there everyday. She answers questions and provides positive feedback on the stitched work. The other classmates are also encouraging and so inspiring. I’m certainly thankful I took this class and can’t help but notice how much it has helped me in TSTC. There is more information about these classes at Sharon’s blog. It’s really a wonderful learning experience in a self-paced environment.

One more end bit!

January 22, 2007


Last night, I pulled out this rather dull gray felt and started playing around with some bright threads to work on some linear ideas. It was a lot of fun and I definitely want to try some of the second row with 100/3 “on grid”. Almost every thing is the detached chain stitch. Beside the straight stitches scattered here and there; there are peach fly stitches used in row 3 along with the purple stem stitch stitching directly above it.

End bits on the detached chain stitch

January 21, 2007


These are a few other things that I’ve been doing to explore the detached chain stitch. This is on felt and those below on linen. Except for a few French knots, straight stitches and the basket handle, everything is the the detached chain stitch. In a few places I tried using more than one tie down–some radiating from the same spot, others from two or more spots. I wanted to do more work with linear patterns, but so far my experiments are ending up on the scrap pile!


Since I have very little time to experiment as much as I think this stitch deserves, I love the round up that Sharon provides. It allows me to see the work of other stitchers. I enjoy them all and learn so much. What a great group there is in TSTC. And more are joining in!

I was reviewing my goals and didn’t want to neglect to use my 100/3 on some higher count linen. But I’m not sure how to show it on the blog. The work is much smaller and more dense than the photo shows. But without the blowup its very hard to see what is done with the stitch.


I don’t know if it is apparent to an on looker, but it rather amazes me how differently I work with this type of thread and high count linen. At the moment, I can’t sort out what if anything the medium dictates and what is merely due to my own my experience and response to it.

Detached chain stitches with sequins

January 19, 2007


I had a bit of fun trying out sequins finally. I’ve been trying to use them ever since SharonB’s PLS. This piece is mostly detached chain stitches with Perle cotton. There are a few French knots and straight stitches.

Lines off and on grid

January 17, 2007


Except for some straight stitches everything is a detached chain stitch. As you may notice I was fascinated by the tie down portion of the stitch last night. I tried it at various angles and lengths. So far I’ve limited myself to one tie down but I’m thinking of using more.  The green row at the very bottom is made up of detached chain stitches over one thread with the tie down coming up, catching the loop and reinserted at the same spot. As you may see, I had some trouble making the size consistent when working with the Perle 5 thread. The yellow and blue are Perle 8. And the orange is a Perle 5 like the green. The green loops running along the bottom of the first section alternate between over three and over four threads. The yellow thread in that same section is the “off grid” line–no counting threads there!

Macedonian Embroidery links at The Embroideress blog

January 16, 2007

Last Wednesday or Thursday morning I spent several happy hours at Linn Skinner’s (website: Skinner Sisters) blog The Embroideress . I was using links she posted January 10 from of some of her research on Macedonian Embroidery. There are wonderful pictures showing the details of the embroidery, some stitch diagrams as well as cultural details. If you are at all interested, please, check it out. I think you will find it is well worth a look and more! I loved digging around and could hardly tare myself away for work. I enjoy reading Linn’s blog and thank her very much for sharing the fruit of her labors with her readers.