Finishing up with the chain braid stitch

November 19, 2007

I concentrated on some thread experiments with the chain braid stitch this week. Since this is the last day to focus on it, I better post the samples now.

It so many ways my execution of this stitch is missing the mark. The braided look is just not showing up in most of my samples. I’d like to try another ground. The knots tended to pull through on this 28-count linen and as a result I don’t think I pulled the stitch as tight as I should have. Well, that is only theory or speculation. I need to put it to the test.

Here are my trials with Perle 12. Things quickly fell apart for me when I increased the number of horizontal threads the stitch was worked over. Even the over two horizontal thread stitching (right) was uneven.


Here is Perle 8, better results here.


The next sample shows two strands of pima cotton, a 6-ply copper-like thread and Petite Very Velvet, respectively.


I was not able to control the copper very well. This is due to my lack of practice with this thread. I’d like the look if I could increase my skill level. Or perhaps a cooper-like cord between a Perle 5 and Perle 8 would work. The pima cotton and Petite Very Velvet were both easy to handle. I wish I’d tried the velvet earlier in the week. I like the fact that the braided look is soft but visible with this thread. The pima cotton could give some nice contrast in depth when used with other thread weights. I was surprised that the fabric held up did not distort more.

Here is another view of my patch. I had trouble controlling the left edge. Still I’m pleased that the wide stitching is holding together.


A line


A flower


Now, I’m looking forward to SharonB‘s TSTC stitch for week 47. Didn’t she promise an easier stitch? It will be such a happy coincidence since I’m expecting our Thanksgiving Day activities here in the U.S. will cut into my stitching time this week.

Day 5 with the chain braid stitch

November 17, 2007

Here I am again no theme, no rhyme or reason to my stitching samples. It seems to me that this stitch has rather a official or regal air. And here I’m using it in all kinds of other ways trying to turn it into something it just is not cut out to do. So I got a bit carried away with trying to make an “official” looking sample today. I just couldn’t pull it off. I finally decided to give up and just post what I did.

I do like the top two lines of V’s; and so far the wide stitches along the side have held together.  But I doubt that this sample could make it throught the wash. About all I could do is stitch the longer stitches down with nice neat backstitch lines. I might play around with that later this evening and see if anything works. At least I have the satisfation of knowing that I could hardly do anything to ruin this sample!


Other far more typical samples follow–much better and more fun.





Odds and ends with the chain braid stitch

November 16, 2007

I seem to have no special theme with the chain braid samples in today’s post. These are a few random trials that occurred to me as I relaxed in the evenings.

On this sample I made two trips as I threaded the olive green around the knots of the first row.

I tried some beading but nothing worked until I was redoing some of my failed experiments with grouping the stitches together.



The light finally went on and I tried beading between the stitches instead of within the stitches. Beading just does not come naturally to me.


Here is my first attempt at a full circle. It seems like it could be a circle of flower petals if I filled in the center and added a stem and leaves.



Day 3 with the chain braid stitch

November 15, 2007

In today’s samples I managed to do a curve and some “off grid” work. But for the most part I’m still playing with straight lines.

The curved line was fun. I’ve not figured out how to do a good circle yet.
tstc46dwave.pngTwo lines were stitched back to back with an alternated pattern. A cherry thread was used to whip stitch the olive green line.


Here is a thick braid with pima cotton over six horizontal fabric threads


The next photo shows a sample stitched with an over one horizontal fabric thread stitch in between each increasing or decreasing stitch.


These two lines were stitched back to back and whipped together with a cherry thread.tstc46dwhipopposite.png

“Off grid”

I was rather puzzled how to do this because the felt ground I was using is thick. When I tried making the stitch over the equivalent of one or two fabric threads, I could not stitch all the way through the felt and keep everything in place. I tried applying this gauze and then stitching the gauze and a few fibers of the felt. While I’m still not satisfied that I’ve found a good solution, at least I had more practice with small curves and threading the stitched lines.


Lines and more lines

November 14, 2007

Things look much brighter to me after all my struggles with the chain braid stitch yesterday. I’ve got curves, circles and “off grid” work still ahead of me. On today’s samples I stuck to the things that were easiest for me. That’s why everything is stitched in straight lines and there is only one diagonal.

These are my trials with a Perle 5 ranging from stitching over one horizontal fabric thread to over 5 on the last row.


Then I started branching out. With a smaller width the knots hold together well and may be spaced out. The first sample is over one horizontal fabric thread. I experienced some slippage with it.


Consequently, the next two samples are over two fabric threads.



The diagonal. I need to do something more with the thread between the stitches. The olive tread is covered up by the pink. I should have tried wrapped them for better effect.


Three ply pima cotton with a whipped thread between the knots on one side.


TSTC Week 46: The chain braid stitch

November 13, 2007

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.