Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Stitch Each Week - Scotch Stitch

I love the Scotch Stitch. It gives such a smooth look to needlework, stitches up quickly, and is great with a wide variety of threads.

This sampler row is stitched in the Scotch Stitch and a few variations.

The basic Scotch Stitch is comprised of a set of diagonal Gobelin stitches worked to create a single square motif. This particular Scotch Stitch is over six canvas threads.

When worked in rows, Scotch Stitches can be worked immediately next to each other, or with empty threads between each Scotch Stitch. When the stitches are worked immediately next to each other it gives a solid, dense look to the stitching.

Alternating the direction of each Scotch Stitch forces the reflection of the light to change on the thread and adds the appearance of height.

Stitch each Scotch Stitch in the same direction gives a smoother appearance.

Scotch Stitches can be checkered by alternating the colors of the stitches, or by alternating a Scotch Stitch with a block of tent stitches. Work the tent stitch blocks in basketweave (bottom left block shows numbering) to minimize distortion of your needlework. These tent stitched blocks will appear further in the distance than the Scotch Stitch blocks.

Scotch Stitches can be grouped together to create a larger motif, such as the Scotch Cross Corner, from Stitches to Go, by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson.

The first step is to work a set of four Scotch Stitches, each over six threads, in alternating direction.

The next step is to use the same, or a contrasting thread as I did, and cross the corners of each Scotch Stitch with half of a second Scotch Stitch. This second stitch is worked in the opposite direction from the underlying stitch. The center of the motif could also be accented with a bead.

Another variation is to create a falsely shadowed Scotch Stitch. Stitch half of a Scotch Stitch, shown here in four threads, but complete the stitch with a triangle of tent stitches in a darker or contrasting color.

Some ideas for using the Scotch Stitch are as a border on a stitched piece, such as this tulip by Kay Fite, or worked in rows and accented with beads to create a sampler that could be used in ornaments, filling for backgrounds, or sampler rows.

TND "Scotch Stitch in Textural Whitework"

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