Friday, October 30, 2009

Stitches of the Week: Diagonal Cashmere and Cross Plus Two

Once again we are doing two stitches this week. The first was one that I hesitated to do since I figured that most of the class would be familiar with the stitch -- Diagonal Cashmere. As it turned out, the class was very enthusiastic about learning this stitch and it is indeed a hard stitch not to like. It's tremendously useful -- making a great background and covering large areas of canvas relatively quickly.

To begin working Diagonal Cashmere, start stitching at the upper left hand corner and work diagonally down and toward the right. The stitch unit consists of three individual stitches -- a short stitch (meaning a diagonal stitch up and to the right over one canvas intersection) and two long stitches (diagonally up and to the right over two canvas intersections). The three stitches begin immediately underneath one another. The next group of stitches commences one canvas thread to the right of where the final stitch of the previous unit began.

To start the return row can be difficult. It helps if one realizes that the first long stitch of the second row is diagonally below the short stitch. Complete as many full rows of the pattern as your space will allow and then add your compensating or partial stitches at the end.

The second stitch of the week is called Cross Plus Two. This is also a very attractive stitch although a bit less universilly applicable than Diagonal Cashmere. Cross Plus Two consists of a large, oblong cross stitch over six horizontal threads and four vertical threads. A gobelin stitch is then placed from the base of the X to the top of the X crossing over the center intersection of the X. The final portion of Cross Plus Two is a horizontal stitch across the base of cross. The second row is worked with a half-drop between rows.

When this stitch is done with a fine thread the effect is very lace-like in appearance. The stitch "produces different effects with different threads" so be sure to experiment with wool, pearl cotton, etc. This stitch would make an interesting background.

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