The Red Panel on the Nefertiti Shawl – Part One

Two circles

Two circles

Once the colour scheme was sorted out, I decided that I was going to try my usual trick again. There are elements of the panel which will be the same, and other elements which will change. The combination ensures that there is interest everywhere, but rhythm and similarity to help the eye rest.

So, the two inner circles are open chain stitch for the innermost one – at about the largest scale at which open chain stitch works without decoration, which is tiny! – and simple stem stitch. Furthermore, the open chain stitch always uses the thread used for the outermost circle, and the stem stitch counterchanges to a different weight and tone of thread.

The first circle here is done in Chained Blanket stitch using a silk perle in a warm russett-y red. Chained blanket stitch is one I’ve rarely used, but I’ve decided I like it. It produces a strong edge, and a pleasing texture. The second circle is in a rather finer silk thread, with a blueish tone – counterchange again, you see. This time I used Closed Feather stitch, which is one of the old faithfuls…

Two more circles

Two more circles

The next two continue the theme…

The outer circles are in Basque Stitch (top), which is another stitch with a family resemblance to chain stitch and blanket stitch, this time using two strands of stranded silk, and Chevron Stitch, in another silk perle. Chevron Stitch is an old friend, but as you see, it doesn’t run happily around curves – or at least, not curves as tight as this.

Still, the counterchanges of russet against burgundy, thick against thin thread, same stitches against new stitches, all seem to be working so far…


  1. Sue Jones says:

    Very pleasing, all these stitches seen together – even the less successful circles, like the chevron stitch, fit in as part of the whole. It’s always fun to have an excuse to use lesser-known stitches as well as the old faithful standbys. And random thread is always a pleasure to play with.

  2. jenclair says:

    Love watching this develop!

  3. Lady Fi says:

    What a beautiful pattern.

  4. Penny Baugh says:

    I always love your exploration of stitches — many of which I have never heard of before. Truly beautiful!

  5. Carolyn says:

    That subtle change of colour is effective.

  6. Lin says:

    I love the different stitches that you are combining and the colour of the threads is gorgeous. xx

  7. Catherine says:

    This is such an interesting project and I can’t wait to see it all come together. I’ve not heard of chained blanket stitch – definitely one I will look up!

  8. Gorgeous stitching!

  9. I haven’t heard of chained blanket stitch – I shall have to consult my books!

  10. Meredithe says:

    Ooh, liking these! Like Anne, I’d not heard of chained blanket stitch – me too off to consult.

  11. Anita says:

    love these circles especially the chained blanket one.

  12. Alex Hall says:

    More fabulous stitches – the chained blanket and basque appeal to me too!

  13. Karen says:

    wonderful images Rachel, they show the detail of the stitches beautifully.

  14. Susan says:

    I’m going to have to investigate that chained blanket stitch. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. Thanks for sharing such nice close pictures! I like the alternation in color, too.

  15. I love how each of the circles work together. Like Susan, I’m going to have to check into chained blanket stitch.

    Thanks so much for linking up to last week’s Stitchery Link Party. Aloha hugs!!

  16. wendy says:

    it’s pretty! I love the chained blanket stitch, I haven’t come across that stitch before.