Stitch of the Month
February 2010: A PROMISE OF MYSTERY

designed by Sue Reed

Welcome back! This month we will fill in the two (2) thread section of Area A and start working on Area B.

First, a word about terminology:

  • I use the word “ply” when referring to a thread that can be broken down into various stitching components, for example: floss, Splendor Silk, etc.
  • I use the word “strand” when referring to a threads that is used just as it comes, for example Vineyard Silk, metallic braid, pearl cotton, etc.


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COMPLETING AREA A:

Couched metallic, 2 x 4 Cross, 2 x 2 Cross:


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Threads: Family A #12 metallic braid
Family A Splendor Silk

Area A - part 2: Now that you have two (2) rows of Slanted Gobelin edging in place, it is now time to fill the remaining two (2) threads with couched braid. We will use a technique of underside couching when placing the braid rather than running the braid in and out of the holes to go around the design.

[HINT: This is a great technique for turning crisp, clean right angles – especially when turning corners with metallic ribbon, Neon Rays, etc. It eliminates bulk on the underside and also allows a thread with width to turn a corner rather than curl going around a corner.]

Each “turn” corner will have a 2 x 2 cross stitch. All other stitches couching down the metallic braid will be 2 x 4 (or 4 x 2 cross – if along vertical edge) cross stitches.

Step 1: Enlarge the twelve (12) corner holes. These are the holes at each turn where you would normally sink the braid to run it around the design. Cut a 30" piece of #12 braid (_________________). This length allows for ample beginning and ending tails, as approximately 25" is needed on the surface of your work. Sink the #12 braid in the lower right-hand corner hole, leaving a 2" tail. Hold the tail "in line" to tie it in as you place the first several stitches. Lay the braid in the channel going toward the left. Use a pair of magnets to keep the braid smooth and in place.


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Step 2: Using 2 ply Family A Splendor Silk (________________), couch down the braid by starting with the 2 x 4 cross. Work seven (7) units and stop before the “turn” corner.


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[HINT: Note the numbering sequence used – bottom to top, bottom to top. By traveling in this manner behind the braid, two things are accomplished:

  1. All beginning tails are tied in and secure.
  2. No trailing threads will be visible along the long outer length of the stitch.]

Step 3: Remove the magnets that are holding the braid smoothly in place.
To work the underside couching - with the Splendor Silk come up in the enlarged hole below the braid. Go over the braid and go back down into the same enlarged hole, this time above the braid, taking care to not split the silk.

 


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By using this technique with braid (or with metallic ribbon, Neon Rays, etc) you will accomplish several things:

  • Eliminate the bulk of thread on the backside
  • Use less thread
  • Most importantly - get a crisp corner turn.

Wrap the silk (now on the backside of the canvas) around your finger and gently pull until you feel the braid “pop” to the backside. When it does, you will notice that the braid now wants to go at a right angle.

Once you've completed the "pop", turn your canvas to the backside to check: the backside view should show very little metallic braid - it's barely there - but it will be held in place by the next 2 x 2 cross stitch that sits in the corner.  If you have a lot of metallic on the back (this means you used too much force - be gentle), pull most of the metallic back to the front of your stitching. 

Step 4: Place a 2 x 2 cross stitch on top of the ‘turn’ corner.


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Step 5: Continue on working 2 x 4 (or 4 x 2) cross stitches. Stop just before the “turn” corner and repeat the steps above.


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AREA B - part 1:

Scotch and Eyelets:


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Threads: Family B Splendor Silk
Family B Silk Lamé

- Using 4 ply Family B Splendor Silk (__________________), work Scotch stitches “over 3” inside each of the five (5) Area B squares.


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- Using 1 strand of Family B Silk Lamé (_________________), work eight (8) corner Eyelets. Pay particular attention to the numbering sequence: the diagonal stitch is the top stitch.


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