Embellishing the Circles Skirt – Part Two

There are a lot of circles to embroider, and since even though I’ve done a lot, I’m not sure I’ve finished, it will be some time before I show you the skirt complete. In the meantime, though, I’ll continue to describe some of the circles and the embroidered embellishment as it has developed.

Three More Circles

Three More Circles

The light chain stitch around the edge of the darkest tweed circle looks a little stark, and I may have to do something else to break it up a little. Edith John’s various suggestions may help there!

The stranded cotton I used for the blocks of straight stitch on the pinkish tweed is actually too close in weight to the threads in the tweed, and at some angles in relation to the weave, it sinks in a little too much. I like the effect of the sheen of the cotton against the matte wool, but another time I might choose to separate and recombine the strands.

The lilac tweed shows what happens when you improvise. I started with a ring of French knots about half a centimetre in from the edge, decided it wasn’t enough, and turned alternate French knots into flowers with a ring of straight stitches. It turned out that I was one French knot short of a complete ring!

Cretan and Interlaced Running Stitch

Cretan and Interlaced Running Stitch

The small, dark tweed circles are predominantly at the back of the skirt, on the sections that flare out slightly. By and large, I’ve not done anything too dramatic in embellishing them, either. I want the patterning to reach all around the skirt, but it doesn’t have to be equally heavy or equally detailed at every point.

The cretan stitch is worked in a fine but quite rough silk thread. I liked the combination before I stitched it, but the silk thread wasn’t easy to work through the tweed fabrics, so I was very glad it was only a small circle!

The second circle is ringed with double interlaced running stitch using a medium weight pearl cotton. The pearl cotton sits up above the tweed, and the shine contrasts nicely with the matte silk thread on the other circle.


  1. Lady Fi says:

    Ooo – very nice!

  2. Penny says:

    You’re going to have a masterpiece to wear when you’re finished. Can’t wait to see the whole thing.

  3. deanna7trees says:

    love that circle with the rose and pink flowers. enjoy seeing your progress.

  4. Looking good so far!=)

  5. Carolyn says:

    I can see you are having fun stitching these circles.

  6. Jules says:

    This looks great,I like the improvisation! That lilac tweed is very pretty, it reminds me of a heathery wool skirt I had in the 80s, now long gone.Where did you get your fabrics for the circles?

  7. If I had done so much work on a skirt, I wouldn’t want to wear it, in case the embroidery was damaged!

  8. Janice says:

    It’s the sort of project that you need to take time over, to allow ideas to form for each new circle, so that each is different and yet part of the whole. Your flower ring makes me think of a fairy circle.

  9. karen says:

    very descriptive Rachel…your skirt is like a fascinating sampler.

  10. Lady Fi says:

    I’m really liking what I see!

  11. This is going to be such a wonderful and distinctive skirt! I love that you will wear it and
    allow so many others to see it ‘in person’, rather than just on your blog! You should find a Sheep and Wool Festival to wear it to! 🙂 XO