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


Winding up when half explored

April 16, 2007

That’s what I keep doing with all these weekly stitches–wind up what I can with lots of things to explore in spare time and head on to the next stitch. The last couple weeks I’ve started making sketches of things I wanted to do but don’t have time to stitch. I’m tempted to call a halt and explore more exhaustively. But the desire to go on and learn more stitches wins.

I look forward to what Sharon b comes up with for TSTC each week. When I see a stitch I don’t know or dread, I think well I could do at least this much. And before I know it, just like this week, I’m finding how useful a stitch it is.

tstc15fweaving.png weaving a thread around a string of oyster stitches.

tstc15fvine.png a vine like thread between the off set oyster stitch string

tstc15fcouchingthickthin.png Three interlocking oyster strings couching some thin threads–I could just visualize this repeating to fill up a shape. Or with a few little adjustments, I could see fence posts strung with barbed wire.

A couple more ideas to in order to keep working on curves and circles.


I bought a pen with ink that disappears over time when exposed to the air. It did indeed! Less than one hour and I couldn’t see the marks anymore.


Revisiting and reworking

April 14, 2007

I wanted to add a bit more to work on the oyster stitch. This stitch is amazing me and frustrating me! I’ve been making sketches of what I want to do with it. But stitching them keeps surfacing problems. I’ve been ripping or abandoning about half of what I’ve been stitching. I keep wanting to try more options and stitch more of my sketches. Some times I laugh at myself, why do I keep going when I keep failing? I’m like a little one who keeps trying to walk no matter how many bumps!


To continue overcoming curves and circles I stitched two more attempts. In the first I abandon all hopes of a laurel wreath and just added two flowers. Two more problems surfaced: flower centers and centering of the right flower in the curve.


I’ve been whip stitching and making small loops to bring greater control to the thread between the oyster stitches.

a spiral couching some radiating lines


And then with the purpose of improving ideas from previous days–these re-dos. In the first the ribbon is still showing, but it’s looking better. As previously evident, I did find smaller beads; the results are in the second.

tstc15eleafcouching.png tstc15ebeadsandpearls.png

The big and the small

April 13, 2007

I tried out a new tool in Photoshop Elements–text. I wanted to put the names of the threads I was using beside the sample. I hope it makes it easier to follow what I was testing. I wanted to also try an experiment about how big I could make the stitch (fourth from top). I don’t think I exhausted that! If I’d kept repeating the loops I think I could have gone a few more rounds, but I’m not sure how sturdy this would be for any thing that gets significant use.



Here I was thinking about how long I could make the stitch. But as you may guess with the blue ribbon showing through I wasn’t too happy with this project. My solution may be to try some tests where I deliberately plan for the ribbon to show through–just no time for more tests today.

Another couching idea and then an idea for which I need a different size bead–unable to locate any locally so far. Oops, now I remember where I should try–perhaps another problem solved and more fun ahead! I’d love to try this as a spiral with a small bead.

tstc15drickrack.png tstc15dredandsilver.png

A few ideas

April 12, 2007

Here are a few ideas that came to mind as I started working more with this stitch. I have been surprised how it lends itself to grids. The flower at the bottom was a lot of fun.



A few leaves tstc15ctripleleaves.png

My couching ideas still need help! I forgot to make an important calculation or two.



Step by step on a knotted stitch

April 11, 2007

These are the how to steps on my “mistake” knot (see post directly below or click this link and read the second paragraph). Some similarities to the knotted cable chain exist and if it wasn’t for the way that thread in the loop to the right catches the tip of the needle in the fourth picture it would be a match, I think. And of course, minus the distance between the chain and the knot, too.

It starts out exactly like the oyster stitch


(Due to the fabric (32 count) and thread there are 5 threads between the two insertion points where the needle is shown on this photo.)

Pull firm put not tight


Then slide the needle under the top portion of the stitch but not under the lower part of the stitch at the top.


Pull the threaded needle through until the loop on the right looks about like next picture shows. Now insert the needle exactly where the top insertion of the needle was shown in the first picture. Bring the needle back to the front of the fabric directly one thread down from the where the bottom insertion is shown in the first picture (Adjust this insertion point as needed for the fabric and thread you’re using. For a finer thread the same insertion point might be fine or if thicker perhaps down two threads). Catch the thread of the loop formed to the right with the tip of the needle and pull the thread from the needle under the tip of the needle as shown in the picture below.


Pull firmly but not tightly.


Now pull thread through, firm but not tight.


This is finished off as a single knot by securing one fabric thread under the last bottom insertion. But if going on to make an line of stitches then do not secure but use this thread as shown in the very first portion of the first photo. And then start into the stitch as shown there.

tstc15bvariationleaves.png The top leaf is smaller just because it is worked over fewer threads than the others. The leaves on either side were worked in opposite directions of each other. I didn’t see enough significant difference to change the direction but I’m sure for some critical work that might need to be done.

If you have any question about the step-by-step please let me know about that; I’ll be happy to try and clarify or revise as needed. Thanks!

TSTC Week 15: The Oyster Stitch

April 10, 2007

Sharon b has written a wonderfully illustrated introduction to this week’s stitch, the oyster stitch. It looks like so much fun. And I love the seam treatments she showed us.

I tried a few things and found it a relaxing little stitch. I just let my imagination carry me along. … Oh, no! I just went over to make the stitch dictionary link and I think all my oyster stitches are wrong! I always print out the dictionary instructions and the introductions to use until I know how to do the stitch. But this week my printer has been balky and says it can’t find some file it needs. I had to do some errands with a wait time attached. So I dashed out the door with my on-the-road-kit and worked away happily never dreaming I was messing up. I must say I can’t be too sad about this since stitching is such a good stress reducer when I have to wait. Well, in case you didn’t see the evidence before, now you know I do these postings off the cuff. Maybe I’ll pretend this is a slight variation and post the pictures anyway…look for the real stuff in a day or two!

tstc15aflower.png tstc15astrip.png