Variations with the zig zag Spanish knotted stitch

October 31, 2007

I’m posting some variations with the zig zag Spanish knotted stitch in my samples today. This stitch has lots of places to tweak and I’ve been having fun doing just that.

The exaggerated knot and the tiny loops make this line of stitching very flat. The green thread is laced under each loop.


In the following sample as I stitched whatever came to mind, I began to draw the loop under the knot and around and under the previous loop (top area of sample). This gives a wider opening to the loop. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I like the look. As I have time I’ll be testing this idea in more samples.


This next sample shows diagonal knots making the points sharper on the zig zag Spanish knotted stitch. This is the plain unembellished version. I need to see if I’ve reverted to some other stitch by changing the angle of the knots. Even so, I may take time to dress it up and see how it handles lacing and threading.


Below is an “off grid” experiment. I won’t begin to tell you all I tried here. I’ll take some of the ideas to “on grid” fabric and test. If they perform well, I’ll post those trials before the week is out.


And a very simple fill that I liked with an arced line of stitching.


Curves on the zig zag Spanish knotted stitch

October 31, 2007

I did some “off grid” samples with curves that are showing up in today’s posting. I had to draw in the curves to even begin to get the placement right. I need more practice in judging the midway point. Of course, I could haul out my protractor or compass and mark it out.


Here is another attempt at curves using three lines and some interlacing between them. I used two threads together as I stitched the final line over everything. The gentler angles seem to work better with this stitch but I’ve some ideas ahead that I have yet to test.


Here is one idea that I did put to the test. In this sample the knot is longer than the diagonal chain stitches. I actually hated the results and tried to rescue the homely thing by adding the almost half eyelets. I see some good possibilities for more experiments with that idea.




A further embellishment to a sample from yesterday’s post is below. I experimented with another way to wrap threads.


TSTC Week 44: Zig zag Spanish knotted stitch

October 29, 2007

This week SharonB has assigned the zig zag Spanish knotted stitch for exploration. Since Sharon posted this early I’m sure most visitors here have already read her great step-by-step introduction to the stitch in the TSTC post of October 24. I’ve already seen some very nice work with this stitch up on various blogs as well as in flickr.

I’m off to a slow start on this stitch. It took me a while to get use to it’s rhythm. But once I caught on I found it behaves nicely. All my experiments in today’s post are very straight forward.

My thanks to JoWynn at Parkview 616 for recently mentioning to me the idea of straight stitches as a fills in a chain stitch.


Weaving around the knots. This sample has given me the most concern because the woven thread is held by the knot. I need to find a better way to make everything hold together and increase the stability. But I love the way it looks and don’t want to compromise that either.


Here is another sample of weaving and this one is very stable. I wove extra threads between the loops of the Spanish knotted stitch.


Couching three threads placed side by side.


I sharpen the angles of the zig zags in this sample, then I wrapped the lime green thread and added the one loop drizzle stitches.


A word of welcome and the end of week 43

October 29, 2007

I would like to stop and say a word to new visitors to my blog. Welcome and thank you for stopping to visit. I hope you will find something of interest and be back again to see what’s new. If you are also new to the on-line needlework community, I keep a short blogroll that may help direct you on to a particular interest.

I deeply appreciate how many knowledgeable and capable needleworkers are blogging these days. I count it a gift. It is so encouraging to see the hand work of others. I learn so much from such a variety of people. I wish I could list them all but I think the few that I mention here will be able to direct you on to others that you may pursue as you have time and inclination. You may also check my “blogs” and “out and about” categories.

And many thanks to those who regularly swing by and visit my blog. Thank you for all the comments and the encouragement as I explore the stitches weekly.

Now in turning to the end of week 43 in Sharon b‘s TSTC, I should say I’ve unexpectedly enjoyed working with the drizzle stitch. I’m thankful to have learned and grown from my time spent with it in the midst of a very busy week.

This is one from the last post where I learned to tack down the drizzle stitches by the next one.


This allowed me to then thread other threads though them and here you see the results.


And here it the other sample that I also threaded. I love this pink wool. In threading I used just as it came and did not separate out any of the strands as I did in the initial stage.


It’s profile from the opposite angle.


Here I used the same pink wool with a glint of gold and a small purple thread. It seemed like I still needed more contrast so I stitched in a few more drizzle stitches with a blue thread.


And it’s profile.


One disappointment on Saturday was missing the bead store. I whizzed up in my car to dash in and get a few beads that I could use with a Perle 5 and found the “closed” sign out.

My experiment with beading the loops is therefore very limited. I used something similar to a Perle 12. It stood up better than I expected. I added a few blue loops and you may see the very short three loop purple drizzle stitches holding them together. If I had more patience and time I would have turned this into a flower. Perhaps I still will do that.


I’ve been laughing to myself about a new dilemma. I’m at the end of the week and thinking about how to store this week’s samples away. These samples certainly won’t fit in my journal without getting crushed. I think they are going in a box.

Ups and downs with the drizzle stitch

October 27, 2007

I’ve had my fun stitching these drizzle stitches. But when it comes to photographing them,  they are frequently out of focus. I’m going to have to try a few more settings on my camera.

I tried pulling the drizzle stitches down and securing the top of them with the next stitch. Here are two ideas. Unfortunately, I could not get a profile shot. In some areas there is little depth, in others more. It is very easy to adjust and I love the feel of the heavy texture.



These ideas need to be developed a little more so they may be back in the next post.

I’m learning a little more about how to bead this stitch and here I used a Perle 8. I was amazed at the strength it had. It held up if I put one bead at the tip or if I placed one on the needle after every two, three or four loops of the drizzle stitch. Again, I was not able to get a good profile photograph but it stands up very well.


These are the tassels that I was thinking about making. They could easily be made thicker by casting on more threads together or by couching more threads in the drizzle stitch. And here I had the opposite trouble a good profile and no good top down photograph.

tstc43dtasselprof.png  I just noticed that on the lower right, there is the edge of the top photograph’s profile.

This was in yesterday’s post.

Today I was able to get a top down photograph of it.


This was in yesterday’s post, too.


I show it again because I learned that by pushing everything to the center I could overcome the places where my handling in stitching had smashed the drizzle stitching down. This was with a pima cotton thread I’m not sure if all threads would respond so well.


This and that plus more drizzle stitches

October 26, 2007

Out and about I’ve  seen so many great things and been rushing by for the most part because my schedule is so overloaded these days. My postings are still erratic and I thought things would be calmer by yesterday. It’s making me treasure those quieter moments I have had when I can just stitch to my heart’s content and think more about what I’m doing.

I’ll just say a quick word or two to direct you over to Neki’s blog, if I may and you haven’t seen it already. She has recently posted a great two part tutorial on kanoko shibori here and here. If you’re not familiar with her blog A Moveable Feast, please do take a few extra minutes to look around. There are other tutorials and Neki has many interesting posts. I learn when I visit.

Now to turn a corner, my experiments with the drizzle stitch are on-going. I did some unexpected things and some that I’d wanted to try as a result of previous stitching.

The unexpected happened because I was thinking, how can I couch a thread with the drizzle stitch? As you can see I had various thoughts about it.


My next unexpected thought concerned the two threads cast on together. I think Jenny at Reading and Stitching in Il with her comment on my blog yesterday might have started me thinking more seriously about how this drizzle stitch is like both stitching and knitting. In knitting a thread may be carried so as I cast on with two threads I carried one from time to time.

Jenny, many thanks for your visit to the blog and especially for your comment. I think it inspired me on to better work with this stitch as I reflected on knitting.

I should also say a word of thanks to the many visitors who are stopping by. Thank you for bearing with me during these strange, pressured-schedule days. I think…I hope…I barely dare to say it…but things are about back to normal now.

Now back to the picture.


Perhaps you can see on the left that I stopped casting on the pink thread once I’d worked the drizzle stitch a few loops and cast on only the green then switched to the pink and ended the stitch. This or something similar is done through out this group of drizzle stitches. I’ll try to get a better picture tomorrow. It’s just to late in my day for enough natural lighting now.

Then I thought of combining this idea with the loops above. The first photograph is top down and the second a profile.


Now my only thoughts are to try beading the loops or cutting the loops to have tassels. Oh, I should also try beaded tassels. Perhaps those thoughts will be illustrated in tomorrow’s post.

The expected things. The first was the trial using smaller beads with a Perle 12. It did improve  things. The beads on the drizzle stitch to the left are placed on the thread; to the right, on the needle.


The second expected thing is my flower. It seems I always try something floral with every stitch.

I’ll try for some better photographs tomorrow on these since the better shot angles were blurred in what I did today.

Beads and the drizzle stitch

October 24, 2007

I had fun beading with the drizzle stitch. I’m not a beader, but I enjoyed trying out beads with this stitch. I’m still having a difficult time photographing them. Today’s pictures are not much better than yesterday’s. I’ve only posted the best of the photos, not all of the samples.

I found two ways to bead the drizzle stitch. I’d love to hear other ideas, if you have any suggestions for me please leave a comment. I either placed the bead on the needle or on the thread.

Here are the results of placing the bead on the needle. As you can see I was still experimenting with the length of the drizzle stitch.

tstc43bneedlegreenprofile.png  profile photo

tstc43bneedlegreentop.png top down photo

Beads were placed on the pink Perle 5 thread. I didn’t enjoy the blue Perle 8. I found it wasn’t what I was looking for. It wasn’t strong enough to hold up the beads nor thin enough to fade into the background.

tstc43bthreadprofile.png profile

tstc43bthreadtop.png  top down of beads placed on the thread

tstc43bthreadtopp8.png  top down view of the Perle 8. I just now realized my main problem may be the bead size. I’ll try some more experiments using smaller beads.

Mixed tstc43bmixedcrmprofile.png  profile

tstc43bmixedcrmtop.png  top down

I tried another experiment of casting on two threads together. This time rather than having both threads the same size, I tried two different sizes. The light purple is a Perle 5; the medium purple, a Perle 8. The contrast is just not enough. More experiments ahead for this thought, too.


TSTC Week 43: The drizzle stitch

October 23, 2007

The drizzle stitch is a near relative of the cast on stitch. My posts will be mounting up in that category this week as I try to keep up with week 43 of SharonB‘s TSTC. She posted a short introduction to the stitch this week. However, it is chock full of tips for working the stitch and there is a great photo of some of Sharon’s work with this stitch. The post links to her stitch dictionary where there is an excellent step-by-step.

My experiments with this stitch are rather on the “school girl” side. And my sample pictures are very plain. This stitch needs to have something else with it. By itself it is not much to see but the texture is wonderful.

I took some profile shots because the top down photographs that I usually do don’t show much of what is going on with this stitch.


tstc43aprofile2.png In the middle of the pink grouping of drizzle stitches, I used two threads at once and cast them on together. I’m pretty pleased with this experiment. Both threads were Perle 5, however. Now I want to try it with one Perle 5 and one Perle 12 or 8. The green and purple threads are pima cotton about a Perle 8, I think.

Here are the shot down photos of the same area on the sample cloth.

tstc43atop13grn.png tstc43atop13purple.png


In the next experiment involving a second color I wrapped the needle and two previous drizzle stitches in the light pink cast on stitching. The advantage is that it makes the drizzle stitches stand off the fabric more. I think this could increase the depth of the texture in a area where there is not a lot of other stitching to support the drizzle stitches. And it could be done fairly unobtrusively, if desired. I used two colors partly so that what I was doing would be clear in the photos. The top photo is the profile; the lower, the top down.



“School girl” work begins. From right to left the drizzle stitch increases by one cast on stitch. And you can see the edge of some of the work I began to do with beads. I need to retake photos of the bead work. It will be late tomorrow before they are posted, I think. My schedule has taken a crazy turn. So the posts may still be erratic for the next day or two.



Too bad I caught up some of the felt fibers in the stitching. It’s not very noticeable until you have advantage of blowing up the photo. Then it is right there.

Top down shot that really shows what a “school girl” work it is.


Here I’m just posting the first samples from my stitching on SharonB’s TSTC week 43 and week 44 is waiting in the wings. I probably won’t be able to resist trying the zig zag Spanish knotted later later this evening.

Twist upon twist

October 22, 2007

I started loading up twists on top of the twisted satin stitches. Nothing too crazy.

tstc42g2then1by1.png Twisted satin stitches in blue Perle 5 twisted over two by purple Perle 8 and staggered over one.

tstc42g2then23.png Twisted satin stitches in purple Perle 8 as the base for twisting the blue Perle 8 over two.

tstc42goffgridtwists.png Some twists are over over three. Basically I did what ever I wanted with these twists in the purple Perle 8.

Now that I’ve practiced and thought about these experiments I think I could go much further with it. I wish I’d though about beads and tried them on some of these longer satin stitches.

Now for the calmer samples…



with perhaps this exception where I used green twisted satin stitches as a grid for holding these other threads.


Bits and pieces of this and that

October 20, 2007

Nothing has been unified in my work with the twisted satin stitch in the last couple of days. It seems higgledy-piggledy to me. But I hope you have fun looking through it.

tstc42f2colorrectangle.png tstc42f2colorrickrack.png



I finally found some felt for “off grid” work. It’s nice to be stitching on it again. The light and dark pink are twisted satin stitches worked in interlaced squares.



The base of the yellow flower is a cross stitch. The twisted satin stitches were worked around it in a square.

Below I tried threading a couple of my experiments on the stitch with silk ribbon. The twisted satin stitch seems ideal for a lot of experiments in this area. I’m determined to try a few more.


Here I used some pink Perle 5 and a blue Perle 8. This is the same Perle 5 used in off grid French knot sample above where the color is more accurately reflected.


I’ve no idea what to stitch next with the twisted satin stitch, but I’m thinking about it. My work schedule is very demanding this coming Monday and Tuesday. As a result my posts may erratic early next week.