This week we learn the simple and widely used stem stitch. This would be the most commonly used stitch in traditional redwork and fancywork of our mothers and grandmothers. It is a good stitch to outline designs or cover lines and gives a slightly thicker or heavier look than a plain backstitch.
I like to work from left to right when stitching a stem stitch and always use my hoop.
Bring your threaded knotted needle up at A on your marked design line.
Take you needle down at B and back up at C –(note that A, B and C are all equal distance apart) – the thread should be sitting below the needle.
Pull the thread through until firm – the thread is coming from the top of the centre of your stitch.
Take your thread down equal distance away from B.
and bring it up at B in the exact same hole you came up through before – again the thread should be below the needle.
Continue in this manner – notes: every entry and exit point should be on your drawn design line. The stitches will stack on top of each other by half – so half a stitch is over half of the previous stitch.
The Stem Stitch’s first cousin is the Outline stitch – this is worked in exactly the same manner except the thread sits above the needle at all times.
Whipped stem stitch
use a contrasting colour to whip your stem stitch – just like you did with the back stitch – pass the thread through each stitch.
See some more examples and inspiration on my pinboard.
Okay, you can download your page pattern here now and get started, I’d love to start seeing some of your creations – do we need a flickr page? Who wants to start one..
hugs and happy stitching