The Van Dyke stitch, this week's Stitch of the Week, can be worked either vertically or horizontally. It works up easily and fairly quickly and it has a nicely woven/braided appearance. The stitch works especially well with overdyed thread such as Threadworx Floss or Caron Watercolours.
The stitch consists of oblong crosses that overlap. Begin by going down and to the right over four horizontal canvas threads and two vertical canvas threads. The second step begins two canvas threads to the left of where step one ended and goes up and to the right over four horizontal canvas threads and two vertical canvas threads.
The second stitch unit is begun two horizontal canvas threads underneath where the first stitch unit began and proceeds in the same manner as the first stitch unit (i.e., down and to the right over four horizontal canvas threads and two vertical canvas threads, over to the left two canvas threads and then up and to the right over two vertical canvas threads and four horizontal canvas threads). Each of the subsequent stitch units begins two horizontal canvas threads underneath the previous stitch. At the end of a row you must end your thread and then begin again at the top of the row.
To work the stitch in a horizontal manner, rotate the canvas 90 degrees and proceed as above. When used as a single row the Van Dyke stitch makes excellent columns. The Van Dyke stitch also make great stripes, borders and when done in wool it looks like a knitted garment. To compensate you may want to fill in at the top and bottom of the row with a Gobelin stitch over a single horizontal canvas thread.