The Ashley stitch is a very pretty stitch. It is really more of a pattern than a stitch but we won't split hairs. The stitch begins up two horizontal canvas threads and over two horizontal canvas threads to the right. The second stitch begins immediately underneath where the first stitch began and goes over three horizontal canvas threads and to the right over three vertical canvas threads (ending immediately to the right of where the first stitch ended).
Stitch numbers three and four are repeats of stitch number two -- going up and over three canvas threads and beginning/ending one canvas thread underneath where the previous stitch began/ended. Stitch number five begins one vertical canvas thread to the right of where stitch number four began and goes up and over two canvas threads in the same manner as stitch number one.
This five-stitch, Cashmere-like unit (over two, over three -- three times, then over two again) is repeated immediately underneath the first group. However, the stitches in the second unit are done from the top down and to the right as opposed to up and to the right. The stitch progresses in this manner -- one group of five stitches slanting up and to the right, the next group slanting down and to the right. In the next column, the orientation of the groups is reversed thereby creating a blank area where the four "group of five stitches" meet.
In the final step to the Ashley stitch, an eyelet stitch over one canvas thread is executed in the vacant center area where the "group of five stitches" meet. Variations to the Ashley stitch call for using a different color/type of thread for the center eyelet stitch. One can also vary the stitch by using a different stitch in the center such as a Mosaic stitch or a Smyrna Cross.
As with any stitch that spans several canvas intersections/canvas threads, a ribbon-type thread can be used (such as Neon Rays, RibbonFloss). The Ashley stitch can be used for architectural details, wallpapers, borders and backgrounds.