More on the berry stitch and chain

December 17, 2007

Today’s post is a mix of samples using the berry stitch and the berry chain idea. As SharonB‘s TSTC year is winding up, I’ve been humbled by how even after all the practice with various stitches this one almost got the better of me. Somewhere in the middle of the week I was so tempted to stop despite the fact that the end was almost in sight. It reminded me of when TSTC was just underway and the buttonhole stitch was assigned. I almost quit then. And there were probably a few other times along the way, too. I think in some ways it has been a lesson to prepare me for what is ahead next year.

I didn’t make it through by merely making myself keep taking one stitch after another. That’s one of the great benefits of stitching in the midst of an on-line needlework community. I’d like to thank all of the people who left comments and who were such an encouragement to me in other ways. I hope that I may come by and encourage someone else at such a time.

In the berry stitch samples I was working with curves and circles.


I think I was in over my head on the next sample. I needed to mark these concentric circles out rather than trying to freehand them.



With the berry chain I played around with this idea of alternating between a regular chain and the berry chain stitch. It is a little hard to see clearly in the first photo.


I thought I would like to thread the line using this pattern.


I then tried some meandering lines and they were fun to do. The last one is perhaps actually backwards since I used the single chain stitch to hold the both loops of the berry stitch. You can see at the right that I started out in the normal fashion, but from there I got twisted up in making it. I kept it, although I certainly didn’t try to thread it.



The berry stitch and chain

December 15, 2007

I did some more work on the berry stitch as well as a brief step by step on what I’m calling at the moment a berry chain (for previous post).

In the berry stitches, I played around with my 100/3 silks to see how they would cope with the stitch. The results follow.

tstc50e1003dots.png tstc50e1003line.png


A few more samples where I’m back at work with my more usual pima cotton thread.



And my poor little crooked line.


The next section is a quick berry chain walk through.

I started off the berry stitch as per the normal instructions Sharon b provided in her introduction for TSTC week 50. It’s when I got to the point of making the tie down for the second detached chain stitch that I varied the stitch and inserted the needle back in the same place I’d just come from.


This loop develops into the first loop for the detached chain stitch of the second berry stitch. So it works like a regular detached chain stitch and is not pulled through to the back side but caught…


…and tied down.


To begin the second stitch of the second berry stitch the needle is inserted above the tie down of the smaller (first) detached chain stitch of the first berry stitch. And then the thread is pulled all the way through.


Next the needle is reinserted into the same place it appeared from and the thread is caught just under the tie down for the first detached chain stitch that makes up the second berry chain. This thread is now in position to make the next detached chain stitch which will be the first detached chain stitch of the third berry stitch chain.

bcstep4.png And so the process is repeated to form the berry chain. I hope the words don’t seem to confusing. My apologies if they are; perhaps just looking through the pictures is better. Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any question about what I attempted to do or if you know the identity of this stitch.

The berry chain stitch

December 14, 2007

First of all, I’d like to say thank you for all the very kind and encouraging comments¬† that I received today and yesterday, too. You all have really lifted my spirits. I’d not been at my computer all day due to a very heavy schedule. I was so encouraged by reading through everything that was waiting there for me late this evening. Many thanks.

Today when I was working on this berry stitch, I was trying to do something more with it and came up with this concept of turning it back into a chain stitch.

I had to smile when I was editing my pictures tonight. I was so side tracked by the idea that I left off stitching this feathered berry stitch sample right in the middle of the stitch. Sometimes I can be so scatterbrained.

tstc50drightinthemiddle.png  The dot of green on the right is the loop of thread that is suppose to be pulled down to make the second detached chain of the berry stitch. I evidently never gave it another thought once I got the idea of this berry chain stitch.

There is an “on” and “off” grid version. Perhaps, the sizing is actually better on the “off” grid version. But it is fun to do and makes a nice thick chain.



I tried making a quick step by step but my pictures are not good. I’ll try to retake them and post by Saturday evening (usa, west coast). I’ve been looking in my books to see if I can find something like it, but I’ve not had the time to do a proper search or look on line. If you know this stitch by another name or a similar, please let me know. I’d be very grateful.

The rest of the samples are here.


Here is a three-fourths berry stitch used to make this trillium shape.



This idea was inspired by Annie at Annies Crazy World. Thank you so much Annie!

This and that in berry stitches

December 13, 2007

My post for today is still concentrating on the berry stitch. I’ve continued to work away without any inspiration. Some say something to the effect that, steady plodding brings results. I’m taking that approach by faith with this stitch. I have more than enough samples for today’s post. I’m going to try to find the best and hope inspiration hits before I post again.




Somehow I think the sample above should work well in a repeating pattern. It might help if the end stitches and the center stitches were in a contrasting color. If nothing else inspires me this may be at least a starting point for further explorations.

I did get carried away trying to do something with a vine that I created “off grid” here.

tstc50cvine.png tstc50cswirls.png tstc50cvine3.png

I took it on grid, in the second photo. I liked that fairly well although I think it works better horizontally that vertically. It would be fun to experiment with a different color or thread weight for the berry stitch. Instead I tried the vine once more before I gave up on it. It needs a thinner thread for either the inner berry stitches or the outer curves so they don’t have to move out so far from the center. Another solution would be elongating the curve. I think this one is fourteen threads long. If I made it eighteen or twenty perhaps that would be enough to give it a more graceful appearance. Another possibility is to slant the berry stitch. Well it getting late, I’d better stop playing the “what if…” game and get this published as is.


Day 2 with the berry stitch

December 12, 2007

Yes, the second day with the berry stitch and I’m struggling with ideas. Nothing is inspired. I’m just filling up my sample fabric with school girl ideas and hoping that in time something will spring up inside of me and I will understand how to use this stitch more effectively. I’ve already stitched enough school girl trials for another post beyond this one. Is it my patience or my persistence that is being tried?

Here are the samples. Perhaps they will inspire someone else.

This first group is my school girl exercises working with the both the inside and outside detached chain stitches that make up the berry stitch and how it relate to each other.



Then I thought why not more than one tie down. Since I certainly didn’t exhausted all the possibilities in this concept with one effort, perhaps I should come back to this idea later in the week.


I did try this one experiment using multiple tie downs in the midst of other ideas in the sample below.


The rest of these samples are simple “off grid” doodles.





Thanks so much for visiting my blog today. I appreciate your visits. Many thanks to those of you who leave so many kind comments of encouragement. I enjoy the questions, too. Please feel free to ask one at any time.

TSTC Week 50: The berry stitch

December 10, 2007

This fiftieth week of Sharon b‘s TSTC is set aside for the berry stitch. It is composed of two detached chain stitches. The second encompasses the first. Sharon has written up a great introduction to this stitch with helpful suggestions as well as a step-by-step.

As you may notice I’m putting the berry stitch into the category “detached chain stitch”. I will plan in the next week to add my categories on the TSTC stitch family page when the stitch does not have its own category. I will do the same for a few other stitches, such as last week’s pistil stitch that I placed in the “French knot” category.

All the samples in today’s post are “off grid” except the last one. My camera is still not working up to par, but the reason is eluding me.

tstc50aalternate.png tstc50aflower.png




As I turned my attention to this week’s stitch, I found that about a year ago in previous trials I’d misunderstood how to do this stitch and made an accidental variation. I tried to correctly execute everything above, but thought I’d post the variation since I might try using it sometime later this week.


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

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.


TSTC Week 4 Cretan Stitch

January 24, 2007

I’m so looking forward to the work this week with the Cretan stitch. You may see SharonB’s wonderful introduction to this stitch here. (And don’t forget her stitch dictionary.) Sharon showed using this stitch in a circle and I tried it last night. I nearly died laughing at myself! I never mark my cloth, I eyeball it. Well, maybe it is time for me start marking. I’ve been fussing around with some experiments from the buttonhole and detached chain stitch.

I just went to edit and upload my pictures and Photoshop Elements is not recognizing my card in the drive. I can’t imagine what has gone wrong at the moment. I’m going to have to fiddle around with this more after work. In the meantime this is some of my work with the Cretan stitch in Sharon PLS class.