TSTC Week 46: The chain braid stitch

I’m overwhelmed by this chain braid stitch Sharon b has chosen for TSTC week 46. She’s written, as usual, a great introduction to the stitch along with the step-by-step. Despite that I’m having a terrible time with it. And of course it is not Sharon’s fault. It is I, who doesn’t follow instructions well. I refused to pull out my q-snaps although she says that is the way to succeed with the stitch. With day two samples, I perhaps I must yield and put some tension on the ground. There is only one way for this week’s stitching samples to go and that is up.

Re-reading her post, I think I broke with two other helpful hints she laid out. Except for my first sample, my stitch height was over 1/4 inch and the stitches are spread out. Perhaps a proper label for this post is, ‘Warning: do not do this.’ Where is the red circle with a slash line?

My first line after a number of false starts


Above using pima cotton 4 threads apart. Below using Perle 5 cotton 4 threads apart. On the second line I increased the height. In retrospect I should have move the stitches to 3 apart and kept the original height.


This next line spreads the spacing to 8 threads apart. The pima cotton helps hold its place little better than the Perle 5, I think. But the line is highly unstable.


This is the sample editing I did before I thought about the slashed red circle. The arrows point to places where the stitching fell apart on me.


And another failed idea is below. Although I may still try and work with this concept. This was an attempt to was grouping three stitches together 4 threads apart and skip over 8 thread to do another group. (Oops, this photo was missing in action earlier in the day.)


Update: I’ve just finished stitching decidedly better samples for tomorrow’s post. I may not be able to post samples until my normal my day two post time due to a heavy schedule. However, I will take time to just clue you in to what I had to do to get this stitch correct. I had to begin with a stitch over one horizontal fabric thread. And from there I was able to work back up to a 1/4 inch braid stitch. Please understand there is nothing wrong with Sharon’s step-by-step. But I just couldn’t catch on until I went back to that kind of starting point. Yes, sometimes I’m a slow at picking up an understanding about a stitch.

I found this starting point due to a pdf article including stitch illustrations about the braid stitch after a quick search on Google. It is on the Needle Maid Designs site that Martha Schmidt’s daughter Linda kindly keeps available for stitchers. Go down the list of surface stitches and click on the Braid stitch (Gordian knot). That will bring up a pdf with the whole group of stitches. You may click on the Braid stitch bookmark on the left hand side once the pdf opens up.

My only caution would be that when working over the one horizontal fabric thread, I experienced some slippage. Working over two horizontal threads went well for me without too much loss in the beauty of the petite size of the stitch. And in some cases the small amount of slippage would be of no concern. I have not fully explored this site but it appears especially interesting for any one involved in counted thread work. They have both free designs and those that are for sale along with the stitch dictionary, instructions and tips. Perhaps I should state that I have no connection with this site, just very happy about the help I received there today.


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