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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Detached Buttonhole stitch variations-ROSE sampler project

This week's addition to the ROSE sample is detached buttonhole. I've been wanting to attempt the 'detached' version of the stitch for quite some time.In the process I tried three different variations of the stitch. No step by step today,but I'll try to explain with a pic.

The pic on your left is DBH on running stitch bars. Do you see the small stitches on the circle outline? Those are running stitches.For the first round I stitched the buttonhole by just passing the needle through the stitches without going through the fabric.
Now, for the variations -watch the green line.
Detached Buttonhole in loop :In the next round,I passed the needle through the big loop that looks like ( . This is the first variation.This is simple but is rather loose filling ,sometimes with gaps.
Detached Buttonhole in loop of loop : The next possibility is looping through the 'e' (I call it s0 because it looks like the running letter e) .Instead of passing through the '(' ,you could pass it through the loop of loop. See the black line.That gives you a much better filling.
Let me show you some pics,
Detached buttonhole in loop ,stitched on backstitched bars.See how loosely the stitches are formed.

Variation 2 : Dbh in loop of loop.I used four strands of anchor cotton for this, though the preferred thread for this stitch is a single strand of any heavy thread like pearl cotton,as in the previous pictures.

And finally, the last variation - have you tried the actual detached version of detached bh? I did.Here it is--

The leaves are detached from the fabric.Truly three dimensional,eh!!

The body is stitched with dbh in loop due to which the stitches are a little loose - but pretty nevertheless. I loved it!! How about you?


Friday, December 19, 2008

Recap-putting together all the links

Hi everyone,

As the year is about to end,I've switched to remembering the olden days,no! Iam not that old !!! :) :)
Yikes!! don't go away!!! I am not going to start a 'Once upon a time' here.I was just talking about the year 2008 at deepashome.
We learnt quite a few Indian Embroidery techniques this year,right? Shall we take a quick recap?

We learnt ,
Kamal Kadai or Kamal embroidery
Chemanthy stitch and a chementhy variation
Pachis work and
Pachis work variation. By the way, there's one variation to come. I've been ignoring poor pachis all these days. Will post it soon.
Cherla work or chinese knots

Some other techniques were also worked upon -like ,
Shadow work
Kantha embroidery (unfinished)
Lavangam stitch

To further my education in embroidery and for those who are curious about new and relatively lesser known stitches or unusual stitch names I also started the ROSE (Recording Old Stitches in Embroidery) sampler project.
Here ,I'll take up one stitch at a time and just record it in my sampler. Most of the times when we try to explore a stitch for a lengthy period of time - we tend to leave it half way through. In ROSE, you just need to stitch the actual stitch a couple of times so that you learn it first-exploring can be done at any later stage when you feel like.
These are the stitches done so far under ROSE,
Tulip stitch
Petal stitch
Honeycomb buttonhole stitch
Chinese knots

Looking back, it was a very eventful year. I love teaching . Teaching becomes all the more pleasant when you teach something you are passionate about. Besides, I too learnt quite a lot.
And I made a lot of new friends too :)
ok, then..
Till the next post,
Love, luck and all my fellow readers,learners and FRIENDS!!!

Deepa from one tiny little corner of India ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Found!! Chementhy stitch reference

Iam doing a happy jig - do you know why? I finally found some reference to the chementhy stitch,thanks to Anne of .Both of us were trying to find if an English name existed for the stitch. Anne had a copy of this issue and she mailed me informing that in the book it is known as Herringbone variation.
Unfortunately, this is the back issue of Stitch Magazine published by the embroiderers guild and it has been sold out.But there is a teeny weeny picture at the bottom of this page here.
In India there is only one needlework magazine and that too is not available in shops-probably because selling embroidery related materials is not a huge business here.And that is the reason you get to see the same type of threads and colors in this blog.When all of you in other parts of the world work with different types of threads and techniques, I can only drool...may be one day,I too will get a chance to try them out. Ofcourse, currency is also another reason.When the dollar,pound or euro is converted to Indian currency it becomes unaffordable.After a lot of additions,subtractions and considering the family budget - hobby is given the last preference. :)

Anyways, those of you (lucky chaps!!)who have subscribed the Stitch Magazine,refer the feb 2005 issue and there'll you'll get to see the Chementhy stitch .

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chinese Knots in Indian Embroidery-Challa Work

Update : I've finally got the name of the Indian technique which uses chinese knots.It is called Challa work or ring knots. Thank you Lakshmi!!!
WARNING : very strenuous stitch to the eye.

The stitch added to the ROSE sampler this week is Chinese knot aka Blind knot(coz you may go blind if you try too many of them)This one is also known as forbidden knot or pekin knot.Certain embroidery techniques in India too use these knots-probably chinese influence.I still have to find out the name of the technique.If anyone is aware please get back to me.

Ok,back to the stitching part.Unlike french knot which is usually two wrap or multiple number of wraps,chinese knot is just a single knot and the knot could be tightened or kept loose like a ring.It is flatter and not as twisted as the french knot.
Here's a quick step by step:

Come up at the point where you want the knot, and wrap the thread around the the needle once.Don't pull the loop too tight.Keep it a little loose.Go down near the point you came up.
Do you see the arrow mark? The tension on that thread determines the shape of the knot.If pulled tight - it becomes similar to single wrap french knot.

Slowly pull down keeping a finger on the loop or knot.

Usually this knot is better done with silk threads. Heavier ones would be better. I tried with pearl cotton (see above) and found them too tedious to work with. Unfortunately my collection of threads is limited to pearl cotton ,rayon and cotton. So you'll have to be contend with this.

I did try with Edmar Nova which is a heavy thread,but did not find them too convenient.Anyways above pic has the knots in different sizes. The arrow marked one is a variation of chinese knot where the loop is tacked down at the point shown.
And finally,I could do only this..too tedious and time consuming.. Just imagine how much effort would 've gone in for this pattern below.

This one is a chinese sleeve band where the lily is filled with blind knots..(courtesy,

Friday, December 05, 2008

Honeycomb stitch-ROSE Project

On reading the title if you are assuming that this one is the Honeycomb stitch used for smocking,then you've got it wrong. When I came upon this stitch and its name , I was intrigued - after all the stitch is a very common one- then why this name? - Then I had a second look and realised that its because of the shape created while stitching. I'll show you the pic.
Surprised!!! Well ,this is nothing but the blanket stitch. But look at the shape. It looks like a honeycomb - hence the name. The first row is stitched the usual way. But in the second row,the stitch that goes down under the cloth is kept slightly above the first level so that it pulls the loop up. See the arrow in the above pic. By the way this is not a detached stitch. All stitches are taken through the cloth.
I first came across this stitch ,thanks to this post by Mary Corbett of Needle'n' thread . I had downloaded one of the said books and this stitch was shown in one of the illustrations. This is the only reference I have at present.
This stitch is suitable for filling large areas. Here's a 'Huge' flower with Honeycomb Blanket stitch. Once the interior is filled ,you need to outline the edges. I can imagine table cloths, place mats,sarees and other dresses filled with flowers like these :)

I've one more idea with this one. Hmm.. may be in the next post.
Till then,
Love, luck and sunshine,