Still more on the Little Jacket

The two stitches here are both chain stitch variants – wavy chain (top) and shell chain (bottom). Wavy chain is a tricky one to use, because it is very difficult to curve, which rather limits the applications it might have. It does a good imitation of ric-rac or braid, but so far that is the best I’ve managed with it. Suggestions on a postcard, please!

Shell chain does take curves nicely, and can be used in most places you might think of using closed feather stitch or heavy chain stitch.

There are three of these buds, or berries, and they seemed a perfect place for trellis couching, which has been a favourite stitch ever since the first embroidered cushion cover I ever did. I’ve edged them, rather conventionally, I’m afraid, with ordinary blanket stitch, and the leaves use Cretan stitch, another of those odd variants, which alternates feather stitch with twisted chain stitch, and then open chain stitch, which one of my books describes as “an ugly stitch, fit only to be the basis for ornamentation”. Which seems a bit harsh.

This final flower took a bit of jockeying with, because I didn’t quite place the original green elements as I might have done if I’d left them until later. Be warned by me, and when you start to get tired, STOP! Otherwise it takes ten times as long to sort out afterwards

However, I got there in the end, I think, with some chained blanket stitch, some French knots, and some needlelace stitches on the calyx.


  1. Sue Jones says:

    Oh my, who was being so cruel to poor open chain? (As a counted stitch it’s a pleasant broad line, simple and unassuming.) I am sure it doesn’t deserve to be relegated to a mere supporting role.

    The trellis couching is effective on the size of area you have chosen. Too much is boring, too little risks losing the full effect. The white flower is jolly, too, the complex shape not overwhelmed by its stitchery.

  2. Jen Mullen says:

    Oh, the berries! 🙂

  3. Alex Hall says:

    Harsh and undeserving! It works beautifully as a graduated line down that leaf.

  4. Jillayne says:

    I definitely think you got there in the end – it looks very good. I love that trellis stitch couching you’ve done. I also like the look of the wavy chain – it reminds of the broad leaves on lilies, daffodils and tulips, the ones that bend down at such an angle – it perfectly emulates that effect, especially when I tilt my head to look at it.