Alternating knotted cable chain stitches

December 3, 2007

In the last few days I worked primarily on continuing trials with alternating knotted cable chain stitches. The results are not spectacular but have been good lessons. There are two other samples, including one “off grid”.

I’m not sure if you remember this sample from the last post in the photo below. Privately I was calling it my flat top alternate.


This is my fun with these lines.


If I called my experiments above flat top alternates these below should be called round top alternates.


Threading on two sizes of the alternates.


A different kind of trial is pictured below with the detached knotted cable chains stitched into the open area formed by the larger loop of the straight knotted cable chain.


“Off grid” Included are various trials here with distortions to the knotted cable chain stitches as well as detached stitches.


Continuing work on the knotted cable chain

November 30, 2007

I have no special focus in this group of samples with the knotted cable chain stitch. But these are various trials that came up as I’ve continued working with the stitch this week.

Below I was considering possibilities for alternation without detaching the stitches.



I tried concentric circles. The Perle 5 didn’t photograph very well. But was fun to work and actually looks ok “in person”. I slipped the last knotted cable chain’s large loop under the beginning stitch of the first knotted cable chain to complete the circles more neatly.


The double looping that I’d  “off grid” wanted to try “on grid”. It adds more texture, I think.


Some beading with intertwined or interwoven chains. The darker thread is Perle 5, the lighter, Perle 8.



Detached knotted cable chain stitches

November 29, 2007

Today’s samples deal with detached knotted cable chain stitches. I saw them as a way to couch other threads and to bead a little. I also experimented with adding more loops.






Beading added within the knot


Beading added at the end tip of the stitch


Adding loops


Below is a twig I had fun making. The stitching sort of folds back and forth on itself. I see a lot of room for doing more with this. There may be an expanded idea in Monday’s post.


Off grid with the knotted cable chain

November 27, 2007

Before I get into the knotted cable chain stitch samples today, I want to take a moment to mention that I changed a couple of pages yesterday. The “about” page has been transformed into “a word of welcome” page. Since Sharon b has spelled out the 2008 challenge, I decided that it was high time to change that page from “Where is Sharon b blogging these days?” to “Sharon b’s challenges”. If you’ve not read about the challenge for 2008 please do check out that page for links. I’m looking forward to the challenge and hope many will be joining Sharon in it.

If you have any suggestions for making either of these pages more helpful or effective, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Sometimes I’m the last one to notice when I haven’t written clearly or made a mistake, so I appreciate extra sets of eyes taking a look. Thank you.

All my samples for today’s posts are stitched on felt. And I worked on some curves and circles.

tstc48bdewdrop.png I marked out a circle for these detached knotted cable chain stitches. Before I could get the four stitches done the markings were gone. The poor thing is decidedly lopsided.

tstc48bflight.png This was the first attempt at stitching the curves.

tstc48bflower.png In the lime green thread I’ve done a double loop in the chain. I will take that idea “on grid” for some more trials.

Below are some closely stitched lines. I would like to try beading these before the week is out. And, yes, the bead store was open today!


tstc48bsprig.png A straight knotted cable chain using detached stitches to simulate alternating leaves.

TSTC Week 48: The knotted cable chain

November 26, 2007

I remember working with the knotted cable chain stitch some time ago. So perhaps this will be an easy week for me with the TSTC experiments. SharonB has written a great step-by-step introduction to the stitch.

If you haven’t read her post yet please do. This post not only lays out this week TSTC stitch but also details Sharon’s 2008 challenge, Take it Further. Please do consider joining in, I think it will be even more inclusive than TSTC since Sharon will include visual journal pages as an acceptable format.

These are the samples from my work with the knotted cable chain stitch. I didn’t do too many experiments since I was just getting reacquainted with the stitch. Perhaps in the next few posts I’ll branch out a little more. My apologies for the poor quality of these photos. By the time I realized I should retake them it was too dark.

I tried whipping the stitch. I liked the one side experiment better once I saw the two sided whipping.



I also tried a more dense knotted cable stitch and then threaded it.


The above samples used a pima cotton. Look how delicate the stitch is with a Perle 8 below. I wasn’t sure if this thinner thread would work, but it was easy to stitch with and the work seems to be holding up ok. However, I may make smaller loops next time to stabilize it even more.


I also tried working with the Petite Very Velvet thread. It softens the knotted area and leaves the color.


In the experiments with Perle 5 I tried using two threads together.


My last experiment was detached knotted cable chain stitches. I wish I had beads that matched the thread for this. The bead store hours and my schedule have not meshed lately. I swung by Friday or Saturday and they were closed probably due to a holiday schedule.


TSTC Week 40: The linked double chain stitch

October 6, 2007

Here is the condensed post on Sharon b‘s TSTC Week 40. Everything is “off grid” and I took full advantage of not counting and tried everything I could think of in a second or two. Once I got home to a computer with a printer (see previous post for details), I started playing with this stitch again. Sharon did such a great job with the step-by-step I don’t see how I got lost going through it the first time. I didn’t retry any two color experiments, but they should work in any of these.

There are some stand-alones rather than chains. Others have twists in either the first or second stitch of the double chain as well as in the linking chain stitch. Sometimes I made one of the double links longer or wider than the other. Probably the photos tell more than I could say.

I tried a number of different threads. Personally with the stitching I did, I didn’t enjoy the results of working with the thinner threads like 100/3 or floss. Therefore the smallest thread pictured here is about a Perle 12 or similar.



Oops, this photo and the next overlap more than I intended.


tstc40bnoconnector.png Here I left out the connecting twisted link. I couldn’t resist the way it looked. I’ve had no time to look and see about it, but I thought it looked familiar. If you’ve seen it or know it, please leave a comment. Thanks!

I wish I’d had a little more time with this stitch. Almost every week I have my regrets about all I didn’t get done, but this week is one of the worst. I didn’t do any circles or real curves. I didn’t do zigzags. I tried to get started on some fills, but I think that would require going “on grid” to get the work right. The other experiments I’m disappointed about not trying are ones with threading, whipping or couching. What if I’d tried ribbons and petite very velvet? I love thinking about these kind of what ifs, but I’m making notes and turning a corner. My focus is on TSTC Week 39 from now until I post on Monday (usa, west coast).



October 6, 2007

I’m back home after a wonderful vacation.

Have I been stitching? Yes.

Have I been following Sharon b‘s TSTC? Trying. I had limited access to a computer in Vermont and no printer. It lead to the following mistake with week 40 stitching.

I kept stitching this new-to-me stitch and wondering where the twist was while I was on the plane back home. Possibly this might qualify as a linked double chain; but due to my faulty memory it’s missing the twisted chain stitch that Sharon showed in her step-by-step (see link above). Despite the nagging little doubt, I had lots of fun playing with the color and length of the connecting stitch. It seems like it could be a useful little stitch — twist or no twist in the connecting chain stitch.



As you may notice another problem during my travel was not having all the normal supplies. My fabric couldn’t handle the heavy Perle 5 I was using to make this stitch work. While I was away I was focused on using 100/3 threads. I took some Perle 5 for TSTC but forgot to throw in some appropriate fabric.

Later today, I’ll be posting the limited stitching I’ve done on week 40. Monday (USA, west coast) I plan to post week 39 stitching. And by Tuesday I should be back to normal postings again.  I plan to catch up on my stitch family page then, too. Can it be there are only twelve more week to experiment with stitches in SharonB’s TSTC?

Many thanks to all my visitors to the blog during my absence. Please forgive me if I’ve not acknowledged your comment yet. I’m well behind on my email, Bloglines and a ton of other things, too. Thankfully, my office is closed for Columbus Day. I’m hoping to do some catching up and to be out and about to see what others have been doing between now and Tuesday.

This and that plus cable chain stitches

September 10, 2007

A special word of welcome to those who are new readers of my blog and to any who may also be new to the on-line needlework community. Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoy looking around. I keep a short blogroll to help direct you on to some areas of specific interest in needlework. If you click on “blogs” in my categories you will find other blogs I enjoy and have highlighted. The category “out and about” is about specific posts that I found interesting and noted. Last week, Monday, was the last in a trial series of out and about posts. I’ll be starting another trial series in early October.

I certainly appreciate all of you who read this blog and send out thanks to all of you who leave comments. One comment I received from JoWynn at Parkview 616, I misunderstood slightly. So today I’m correcting that by posting a photo of what will be going into my resource book from this week’s TSTC stitching. I keep the weekly samples in a 12″ x 12″ sheet protectors.

Here are this week’s samples all spread out; felt ground on top, linen (25-count) below. If you have any tips on putting samples away or keeping things in a journal please let me know. And if anyone has any other questions about what I’m doing with the samples, please, feel free to ask.


Each week I try to do some “off grid” (non-counted ground) and some “on grid” (counted ground) samples. I keep the size of the fabric fairly small because I stitch all my samples in hand. As you can see this week was heavier with “on grid” work.

I don’t work “off grid” samples closely together. I’ve learned to give myself an allowance since many times I will expand the work another day. About the only thing that I expanded this week was adding the cable chain stitches to the area where I practiced my colonial knots (details below).

And I should say while I’m on the subject of samples, resource books and journals, do check out what JoWynn has been doing in showing her process as she creates her art. I love her work and am so thankful that she has started blogging. Her blog has been a great source of inspiration to me already.

Here are the close-ups of the samples I did this weekend.


This is another trial in joining two cable chains rows (pink) together into one. I didn’t use the fly stitch as in some previous samples but a third cable chain row stitched even with the others. In prior examples the middle chain was staggered.

tstc36fdrippingcircle.png Oops, how did that hair get in the picture?


As mentioned above, I had to do something with my practice colonial knots that Annie (Annies Crazy World) pushed me into learning with her beautiful samples. Do pop over and see all her work on attaching shishas this week and last, if you haven’t been there already. It is great work. Thanks for showing so many exciting examples of what can be done with them, Annie.


Five cable chains layered.


Two cable chains whipped together. 

Circles and lines

September 8, 2007

The cable chain stitch stitch will follow a circular line well. My difficulty is getting that line drawn well.




The interlinking of the cable chain stitch in this photo was really interesting to do and I liked the version above the dark green thread best. I’m going to try that on grid but in a straight line.

The issue for me with circles and on grid work using the chain stitch is the constant adjustment needed as the circle enlarges or contracts. With off grid work this is no problem. BTW, just looking at the one on grid sample above you can see how I skirted the issue by using only one cable chain and filled in with other stitches.

On to lines.

The first two samples use the fly stitch to bind the two chains together. The last sample shows the use of whipping–simple but I liked it. And of course there are a lot of other ways I could have whipped them together. This one just happened to appeal to me most.




I’ve gotten in the habit of using only two colors for these samples this week but I think the use of three could be very effective. Some of them could be very interesting if turned into fills. I wish I had more time for those kind of experiments but at least I have the basics down and can expand the idea when needed.

Cable chain stitches on the curve

September 7, 2007

I’ve tried some “on grid” curves with the cable chain stitch. No circles yet. I’m still practicing that.

The plain arc




The plain oval




My postage stamp


More beads

This is stitched with 9 ply wool.

Threading two chains into one line


I came up with this by a look backward. Please, pardon the color change and take a look at the first straight line from the right at the top. That line seemed to fit with some experiments that I’d just done about joining two cable chain rows together. So I pulled it out and restitched it so it could go with my samples for this week.


Why did I pull out this old work? I was struggling about what to do with the cable chain stitch. I know I have more experiments to do with curves and circles, but I was casting about for something else, too. Happily, I remember that I’d done a bit with this stitch last year. I pulled out the sample page and took a look. That’s the great thing about keeping a record. And I see one more thing inspiring me to do a little more in another direction.