Stitch of the Month
March 2008: Round Eyelet

by Lois Kershner

Our March 2008 Stitch of the Month features the Round Eyelet stitch—in keeping with our 2008 theme of stitches creating a circular shape. The single common characteristic of the Eye family of stitches is that all the stitches of a pattern go into one shared hole.

Many Eyelet stitch variations exist that create various shapes: Round Eyelet, Diamond Eyelet, Square Eyelet (Algerian Eye), Triangular Eyelet, Star Eyelet and Oval Eyelet.

The overall size of the Round Eyelet can vary as shown in the two charted examples below. The size may be determined by the number of threads that can fit in a single hole. The stitch is often used to represent flowers.

Round Eyelet

When stitched on canvas the Eyelet's center hole will likely be completely filled with thread. A ground fabric with more flexibility may allow a small circle to remain open in the center. In this example of stitched eyelets the threads entering the center create an indentation.

Stitched Eyelets

To make an Eyelet stitch, bring your needle up on the outside of the circle shape and take it down into the common center hole. Since so many stitch threads go through the center hole it helps to enlarge it by carefully spreading the canvas threads of the center hole with your needle or laying tool.

The sequence of your stitches can vary the appearance of the finished Eyelet. Stitches can be worked in a circle like the numbers on clock. Or try a different stitch sequence such as shown in the charted square sequence below. The last stitches taken will lay on top of the first stitches taken, creating subtle changes in appearance as the stitch sequences differ.

Clockwise Sequence

Square Sequence

One of two techniques can be used to maintain the lay of the thread of the last stitch of the Eyelet. The first example below shows a vertical or horizontal tacking stitch under a stitched thread. The second example suggests starting your next eyelet in the same path taken by the last stitch of the previous eyelet.

Tacking Stitch Under Eyelet Thread

Directional Path

Rather than straight stitches as illustrated above, eyelet "petals" can have loops using a Daisy loop stitch. Bring your needle up in the center hole. Lay your thread in a small loop on top of the canvas. Take your needle down in the center hole and then bring it up just inside the loop at the tip of the petal. Pull the thread gently so that the loop is the desired shape, then take you needle down on the outside of the loop.

Daisy Loop Eyelet

Stitched Daisy Loop Eyelet

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