A variation: thoughts and samples

June 21, 2007

My boss asked me to vary my hours today. Sometime in the late afternoon (west coast USA) I should have another post with the long and short stitch.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about a variation that came up when Sharon b assigned the wheatear stitch for TSTC week 23. The wheatear which is a composite stitch. According to Sharon’s stitch dictionary it is two straight stitches joined by a chain stitch. And her instructions are for the straight stitches to be set at right angles.

This is the normal wheatear, I think.


This is my variation.


I wasn’t sure if this was a variation of the wheatear or if I’d wandered over into another stitch or a variation on another stitch. There are two straight stitches at right angles joined or about to be joined with a chain stitch in both my pictures. In both cases the needle is sliding under the two straight stitches. If you go back and see some of my earliest explorations you will see I didn’t start out with that kind of slide. But in experimenting to make the variation stable this was the only thing that seemed to work–clean, simple and stable. To me it looked like an arrowhead stitch with a foop or chain. However, passing by that thought, the main differences between them are where the join is happening and that the straight stitches in the regular wheatear look like the top half of a cross stitch while in the variation, the bottom half of a cross stitch. More on this at the end of the post.

When Sharon asked for others to help me with identification, Deepa brought to our attention the Ceylon stitch here. Here are some side by sides here. And I did limit the stitching on the Ceylon stitch to a single vertical or horizontal row to keep it to the bare minimum and matching the variation more closely.


Ver 1 and ver 2 are referring to two versions of the variation. The two unlabeled rows at the bottom are ver 2 running horizontally (left) and a completely unnecessary trial of ver 1 running side by side (right).

I began to explore the Ceylon stitch. How was it made and how was it used were two of my major questions when I started out searching? While I researched and read more material, I began to wonder if a reversed chain stitch had anything to do with the total picture. When I mentioned to Sharon a possibly similarity between it, the Ceylon stitch and the variation, she suggested looking at the twisted chain, too. She said it was the reversed twisted chain stitch worked horizontally that would would make up the Ceylon stitch. I tried working a reversed twisted chain. I’m not sure that I pulled off working it correctly, but the side by side is interesting to me.


Well, all of this has give me a lot to think about and so many not even named here, have helped further my thinking as I searched the web and pulled out some of my stitch books. While it would be my ideal to find an exact match, that doesn’t always happen. Or perhaps it just hasn’t happened yet!

Now back to the cross stitch thought from earlier in the post. While I was experimenting the cross stitch had appealed to me as a base for a mirror image border. But I couldn’t pull it off. Everything was too unstable. I was writing an email to Sharon about that early this week. A little while later it dawned on me that I hadn’t taken the fabric into consideration. A tighter weave might hold the thread in place and help stabilize everything. If the thread was thicker and would hold its shape better, that would help, too. I had a lot of fun trying this. I hope my labels won’t seem to confusing. Feel free to ignore them. Oops, I just noticed that one of my label doesn’t tell all! The “diagonal sides of a cross stitch” (mid right) should read “diagonal sides of upright cross stitch”.


all diagonals on an upright cross stitch


Thanks for sticking with me to the end of the post. I know that this type of post is probably not everyone’s cup of tea. I wish I could think and express my thoughts more clearly, too. Please feel free to leave a comment or a question.