2016 – Year of the Stitch – The Journey Begins

As I mentioned in the last post – the first stitches I am exploring are the chain stitch and the long & short stitch.

Let’s first discuss my initial findings about the chain stitch. I was amazed at the number of variations for the chain stitch. The specific ones I stitched were:
• Basic Chain Stitch
• Open Chain Stitch (aka Ladder Stitch)
• Heavy Chain Stitch
• Zigzag Chain Stitch
• Double Chain Stitch
• Feathered Chain Stitch
• Magic Chain Stitch (aka two-colored chain stitch)

For my ground cloth, I used both white Congress cloth and Victorian Red 18-ct canvas. For thread, I used 3 different weights of perle cotton (5, 8 and 12). Here are some photos of my stitches:

Lighter Weight Chain Stitch Variations on Congress
Double Chain       Zigzag Chain  Heavy Chain    Open Chain (aka Ladder)             Chain
Congress Cloth with Heavier Weight thread            Feathered Chain Stitch
Heavy            Open Chain                                                Feathered Chain
Heavier weight thread - chain stitch               Magic Chain Stitch
Chain          Heavy Chain           Magic Chain (aka Two-Color)
Here are some other chain stitch variations you may want to explore:
• Twisted Chain Stitch
• Cable Chain Stitch
• Broad Chain Stitch
• Russian Chain Stitch
• Rosette Chain Stitch
• Butterfly Chain Stitch
• Raised Chain Stitch
• Singalese Chain Stitch
• Whipped Chain Stitch
• Crested Chain Stitch

Lazy Daisy and Long-tailed Daisy are also variations of the Chain Stitch.

I found some very interesting things as I was researching the Long & Short Stitch. I found three different opinions about it and what ground cloths it could be used on. As I thought, the primary ways I found it used were for shading and thread painting. One “camp” believes that it can only be used on a linen-type fabric like muslin or tablecloth type material. Another “camp” believes that it should be done on an evenweave fabric . The last “camp” believes it can be done on any type of fabric or ground cloth.

The next thing I learned is that depending on how you want to use it determines if the shape should be outlined first before filling with the Long & Short Stitch. I also learned that the name is sort of a misnomer since the only time you have stitches of different length is the first row. In that first row you have a mix of short and long stitches. For all subsequent rows you only use long stitches but they vary in length depending on the first row.

Mary Corbet of Needle ‘n Thread has a wonderful free lesson on doing the Long & Short Stitch. She also has a wonderful tutorial on chain stitch variations.

I hope you enjoyed exploring these stitches with me. I will post some photos of my attempts at shading and thread painting using the Long & Short Stitch in the next few days.

On the third weekend of this month, I will be starting exploration on two new stitches – Crescent Stitches/Variations and all kinds of Jessicas – both by Jean Hilton.

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