A TSTC review weeks 13-15

June 15, 2007

I’m using the French knot stitch in week 24 of the TSTC as an opportunity to review the stitches we’ve worked on. Sometimes I think these TaST weeks in Sharon b’s challenge flew by quickly. Its hard to imagine that these weeks represent March 27 through April 16. If you’re not familiar with TaST, the flickr site for the group has over twelve hundred photos of the work stitchers involved in the challenge have done. And the page above on Sharon’s TSTC page above lists the current blogs involved where you may find even more work. Very inspiring!

Week 13 knotted Cretan stitch


Week 14 bonnet stitch


Week 15 oyster stitch


More French knots–this is the section in the posts for TSTC week 24 where I’ve been exploring a variation from last week and adding French knots to the samples for more practice there. Many thanks to Sharon b for checking on it and asking others to see if it can be identified. It looks like we may have a possible identification! Please see the comment from Helen and my response in the 6 and 7th comment of the post. If you’ve been looking too, thank you so much. I deeply appreciate your help with this. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any information that would help document this stitch or variation–more informatin is always better. I’ll be updating with news as soon as it becomes available.

These samples are experiments with thinner thread somewhere between a Perle 12 and Perle 8. There were definitely some things not so easy to do with the thinner thread. I used three strands of floss for the French knots.

tstc24dwealternating.png tstc24dwepartialflower.png


TSTC Week 24: French knots

June 12, 2007

Oh, no! I some how knew this day would arrive. Sharon b suggested a whole week devoted to French knots. Her only reprieve was to additionally suggest that we could combine them with any of the TSTC stitches to date. Now, there is something that I’m thankful for! It could be a great almost-half-way review.

I must say I do like French knots. They’re beautiful when done well. See all the photos of Sharon’s work posted in the introduction. Those are beautiful French knots! And what a good variety in the puposes they serve. My problem with French knots is making them. There is almost no hope that I can ever do more than one or two with the correct little twist of the thread.

TSTC stitches in review!

Week 1 Herringbone stitch

Week 2 Buttonhole stitch

Week 3 Detached chain stitch

Week 4 Cretan stitch

More French knots

Practice has not made perfect yet

April 2, 2007

On this week’s stitch I noticed that I avoided my weak area–circles and curves. Instead of strengthening that area by practice I was letting it go. Therefore, I’m posting some of my struggles to get into that area this weekend. And I had to do something I hate to do–draw lines. I just could not eyeball it. The only good thing so far is that I have a design in mind. I know how it should go, I just can’t make it go yet.

The first


The second tstc13fsmcircle.png

Now, back to my trials on what it looks like when making a variation to parts of the stitch itself. The first column shows variations on the middle section. The second column, variations on the top and bottom portion of the stitch and then portioned increases to all areas of the stitch.


Shrubs and trials

March 31, 2007

The first quarter of 2007 is completed today. This coming week we will begin the second quarter of Sharon b’s TSTC! If you haven’t joined in please do think about giving it a try. There is still so much ahead to learn and explore.


My explorations this week have been both “off” and “on grid” work. The basic structures that make the “off grid” piece are all knotted Cretan stitches. But I covered a lot of it up once I got working on it. I’m feeling a little disappointed about not having that stitch shine through more. But it’s not finished yet!



As you see I here, I’m still working on the idea of multiple knots. I rounded these more by pulling the knots tighter. The height of the stitch is not more than about 5 threads, so that has a big impact, too. I love the texture. I probably should have turned it 90 degrees. I can see the basic outline of some little growing plant. I still like the earlier ones better, however.


The first line on the next photo is an overlap of two lines above.


And the last three lines show my test on the difference spreading the stitch makes. I think now I should test the height. And then both together? I should never run out of variables to test, if I would as my mom says, put on a thinking cap. Whatever that means, I’m sure it would help.

Scribble finished

March 30, 2007

I’m finished with this particular “off grid” piece. I learned a lot this time. Primarily, I noticed one of my fatal flaws in doing “off grid” work. So I’m anxious to try the avoidance of this practice in the next “off grid” piece. While not entirely pleased with this, I had a chance to try some experiments that turned out well. I expect to transfer some of these thoughts over to “on grid” work. Not everything on this piece is a knotted Cretan stitch, of course.


Knotted Cretan scribbles

March 29, 2007

The “off grid” piece is not finished now. I made some progress on it, maybe one more day to go. I’ve got a clear idea in my mind where it needs to go. Getting there is the questionable part of the matter.


Here is a series of stitches where I was concerned with shape. The variations are because of the direction of the stitching. I believer the first row is L to R next row R to L and so on.. L to R, R to L, L to R.


Here are experiments with more than one knot on the second and third row. Knots are added above the stitch and then below the stitch respectively.


I like these experiments, but clearly I need some more practice to be more uniform.

Off grid on the knotted Cretan stitch

March 28, 2007

I enjoyed doing some “off grid” work yesterday — a nice change of pace. Is it finished? I am not sure.


I tried a few experiments, for instance, on the light green and olive thread to the left you’ll see that I made more than one knot. On the olive thread to the right I made some very long prongs on the right side and short prongs on the left. This was a rather failed experiment because the longest prongs wouldn’t stay in place and I ended up couching them with some blue thread. I wasn’t too pleased with the ribbon experiment either. You see that I abandon it almost as soon as I started it at the lower right. The blue silk cord was fun. I couched some of it but along other portions I looped it into the Cretan knot as I made it.

“On grid” work didn’t seem to go anywhere. This is the only thing out of it that I liked and that is because of the texture.


TSTC Week 13: Knotted Cretan

March 27, 2007

TSTC week thirteen is underway with the knotted Cretan stitch!

The first three trials are on a countable ground, but I wasn’t counting.




But I counted here!


As you may notice I over loaded the channels with too much pink thread. The top and bottom green lines are made by wrapping the thread around each prong of the Cretan stitch. The Very Petite Velvet doesn’t show a clear definition but the texture is great to the touch.

I hope most of you that stop by this blog are regularly reading Sharon b’s. She is constantly doing far more than organizing TSTC and making introductions the to weekly stitch. Her links to other needlework information fascinate and educate me. And her own needlework is so inspiring, too! Naturally her blog is full of examples. But she has some past exhibits on her website and I loved it when I took the time to go through them.

Cretan stitch–more trials

January 27, 2007


The picture above shows some trials I did with density. I enjoyed testing this and loved some of the very dense results on the right side. I tried a much longer stitch below and to the left of the circle. This is full coverage without the definite ridge areas as on the right. But I had to use a line of Cretan stitches on the far left to help hold the curve since my stitches got too long. Every thing else I was trying to do with density is pretty evident.


Beads are another thing I wanted to test. I was thinking about when to attach the bead in the stitching and what happens with various sizes of the stitch. It’s raining here in the central valley so my pictures are not “true to life” color today. And unfortunately that is certainly showing up the most in this picture. These are variegated blue green beads with a peach thread! When I have time I want to try various bead placements once the stitching is done. The other thing I would like to try is layers of bead placement for some of these attachments above. In other words, what would happen if I stitched another row 2 threads down or 4 threads down. And what would happen if that row was staggered compared to being an exact match.

I’ve been working on some designs and so I’ve not been visiting blogs or the flicker site as much the past few days to see what every one has been doing. And I may not have time to go through Sharon’s roundup until Monday. I can hardly wait to be past this “crunch” time! But just in working with what I’ve been doing the last few days has been making me think about how much I enjoy the technical part of seeing what a stitch will do. And to have that knowledge available to use when I’m doing a design gives me a greater range and freedom of expression. The designing is much more satisfying than the technical work, but I think I’m beginning to see the interaction between the two as much more vital than I have before.

Well, below are my circles, I’m still pretty amused by them since I still need more “technical” work with them before they are ready for me to use any design! Again the peach colors are way off!


I worked on a few linear things this week.The first one is some couching of the thicker peach thread. The second, layers of the Cretan stitch with some varied interweaving.

tstc4bline1a.png tstc4bline2a.png

And the very last linear one is using the detached chain stitch. This morning I finally snapped a picture that is in focus, so I just tacked it on here at the end.


Cretan stitch explorations

January 25, 2007

I’ve been thinking and stitching! What is the Cretan stitch? To me it seems like a buttonhole stitch with the rule that every stitch must go in the opposite direction to the one just completed. Then I think perhaps it it a feather stitch of some kind.

My card reader is working again, I fiddled and fiddled with it yesterday. I don’t know which “fiddle” or combination of “fiddles” got it going again. But I’m so thankful it works!

So this is a rather strange collection of things I’ve been doing the past couple of days. I did keep a few of my very crazy attempts at circles, I had a good time trying and laughing over them. Perhaps today, I will catch the proper idea and it will trickle down into my execution of them.


Then I got carried away with the texture in diamonds. I’m not sure how well it comes across in the pictures. But I had to try it with every thread readily at hand that could go through the linen. And the backs are beautiful, too. I wouldn’t be ashamed to use this on a table linen or something where the back side would be readily visible. I think the ends could be buried in the front side or run along on the back as a purposeful “couched” look.


Then I tried a few linear things, too. But so far I’ve only got one photo that cleared the editing ok.


This last one is from last week’s detached chain stitch. And I see I forgot to edit one of the pictures so perhaps I will try to put that up soon. But it looks just like the green and purple line with a mirror image, or in other words, like a full flower. I did that with a blue Perle 8 instead of the Perle 5s in this picture. I tried it with 100/3 thread but that didn’t work out well. I think 100/3 doesn’t hold it’s shape well enough to be effective.