Sunday, June 7, 2009

Stitch of the Week: Oriental

This week's stitch of the week was pretty much the opposite of last week's -- the Oblong Cross (it is not online yet). The Oblong Cross is a very easy stitch to learn therefore we spent most of last week's class learning lots of variations on the basic stitch. The Oriental stitch, this week's stitch of the week, is a bit of a challenge to learn and so today's class was spent just learning the stitch.

The Oriental stitch is a fantastic background stitch and a great stitch for filling in large areas. It is a Milanese-type stitch comprised of two diagonal rows of arrowheads that alternate directions. The Oriental stitch, unlike the Milanese stitch, does not line up seamlessly. The long stitches of one row share the same hole with the long stitches of the next row thereby creating gaps or spaces in between the rows of arrowheads that are then filled in with Slanted Gobelin stitches.

It is best to do the rows of Milanese before filling in with the Gobelin stitches. Since the stitch requires three different passes to complete, it is not super quick. Also, compensating this stitch can be a challenge. Carolyn Ambuter in her Complete Book of Needlepoint recommends solving this problem by filling in everywhere with Slanted Gobelin stitches which works except when one is using two different colors (one for the arrowheads and a different color for the filing in stitches).

The Oriental stitch looks remarkably different when done with one color/type of thread or two as illustrated by the above pictures. This is not a stitch for the faint at heart but can be quite striking.

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