Knotted Cretan

Knotted Cretan Stitch hand embroidery sample 6I think Knotted Cretan stitch is one of my favourite stitches as you can easily work on  gradual curves well to create meandering lines in organic designs. Ordinary Cretan stitch is flat, this version is textured. The knots formed on the spine create texture and change the feel and look of the stitch completely.

Worked in a thicker thread you can really do things with it. The sample on the right is created with a dark blue cotton perle # 5 and a cotton knitting yarn which I could thread in a needle!

Knotted Cretan stitch can also be used as a filling worked row upon row as the zigzag pattern it creates is attractive. You can fill the spaces created with beads if you like a bit of bling with your hand embroidery.

Another way to use this stitch is to couch heavy thread, cord or ribbon to the foundation fabric. In other words you can use it in freeform and adventurous manner to great effect as this is a very versatile stitch!

How to work Knotted Cretan Stitch

You need to know how to work  Cretan stitch before learning the Knotted Cretan.

If you want to keep this stitch on a straight seam work along two parallel guide lines marked with a water dissolvable pen.

step by step illustrated instructions for Knotted Cretan Stitch 1Work from top to bottom between 2 imaginary lines. Bring the needle through the fabric on the centre point at the start of the line. Move down ward and slightly and insert your needle on the outside edge to make a small stitch by pointing the needle to the centre.

step by step illustrated instructions for Knotted Cretan Stitch 2Keeping the thread under the needle pull it through your fabric.This will form the first bar of the Cretan stitch

step by step illustrated instructions for Knotted Cretan Stitch 3Slide your needle from top to bottom next to the bar stitch you just made and wrap your thread under the needle as illustrated.

step by step illustrated instructions for Knotted Cretan Stitch 4Keeping the thread under the needle pull the needle through so that a knot forms next to the bar.

step by step illustrated instructions for Knotted Cretan Stitch 5Move to the other side of the line and insert your needle on the outside edge to make a small stitch by pointing the needle to the centre.

step by step illustrated instructions for Knotted Cretan Stitch 6Keeping the thread under the needle pull it through your fabric.

step by step illustrated instructions for Knotted Cretan Stitch 7Slide your needle from top to bottom next to the bar stitch you just made and wrap your thread under the needle.

step by step illustrated instructions for Knotted Cretan Stitch 8Pull the needle through so that a knot forms on the bar.

step by step illustrated instructions for Knotted Cretan Stitch 9Continue working until the end of the line.

Knotted Cretan Stitch hand embroidery sample 3As I have pointed out this stitch really comes into its own when used for organic forms as the twiggy looking line is ideal as grasses or in floral motifs. But you can also work it with in a shape. For instance if you work it with a triangle it makes great Christmas trees if you need  a quick little motif on a seasonal project.

This sample was worked in Rayon ribbon floss. You could add a few seed beads and you would Christmas baubles on your tree! Or work a line of them along the top of edge of a Christmas stocking or a seam on a crazy quilted project

You can also work this stitch in wide band. The central band of stitches contrasts with the knots. This sample is worked in hand dyed cotton #5 perle thread. This would be useful as border or you could use it to couch down ribbon to project


Knotted Cretan Stitch hand embroidery sample 4This sample is a line of hand dyed  Danish cotton and line of hand dyed crochet cotton. Both are about the same thickness as cotton perle # 5 thread and both threads are from the same dye bath.

Knotted Cretan Stitch hand embroidery sample2In the case of this sample I worked the line narrow and the knots pushed to the sides. The thread is cotton perle #5.

Knotted Cretan Stitch hand embroidery sample 1Knotted Cretan stitch will also follow a curve well. The sample below is worked in hand dyed cotton on linen.

Knotted Cretan Stitch hand embroidery sample5Try it out as this is fun and versatile stitch that has much to recommend it!

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89 Responses to Knotted Cretan

  1. Christine B. says:

    Another lovely stitch… thank you Sharon! I love the texture this stitch gives and I shall be using it again! Here is the link to my post about it….

  2. vero says:

    j’ai fini mon point avec un peu de retard

  3. Kathy says:

    I don’t think I will use this stitch but I finished my sampler page.

  4. libbyQ says:

    i had a difficult time with this one but finally have a sample:


  5. Sorry I’m late for this 22nd week. Here’s my little job, . Not a sampler as usually, because I used this stich in TAST week 4 as a variation of cretan stitch.

  6. Anneliese says:

    I am happy about the week off though I did not (could not) vote for it. I am in holidays and behind with my week-22-stitch. Happy to do the stitching with you!

  7. Kathy says:

    YES! I am so far behind I can no longer see the light at the end of my tunnel. And stitching my TAST samples is on my TO-DO List for next week now that family commitments have slowed down.

  8. Karrin Hurd says:

    I caught up both my stitches, but a week’s break would be good for me to catch up on other things. Both Weeks 21 and 22 can be seen here:

  9. Uma Srinivasan says:

    I have posted my samples for week 21 and 22 are here

  10. julie says:

    My post this week is about a few stitches that really challenge me in terms of math. Read about it here:

    And maybe you can give me some pointers or help!

  11. Rose says:

    I’m caught up too including the knotted cretan stitch. I’ve posted pictures at Stitchin Fingers, Flickr, and am heading to FB next.
    Like others I wouldn’t mind a catch up week to get caught up on other projects. I will be blogging later about my progress.

  12. Lucy Landry says:

    I like this stitch! It’s a variation of cretan stitch that I’ve never done before. That’s why I love this challenge. Thanks Sharon!

  13. Hello
    I don’t need a catch up week but I don’t mind if there is one.
    My knotted cretan stitch are here:

  14. Hobby Sewer says:

    I was busy this whole week and could not do much. I have done a small row of knotted cretan and weaved the straight lines made by the knotted cretan . This was inspired from Mary Corbet’s recent stitch play post. My trial can be viewed at

    I would prefer a catch up week since I am yet to try a couple of stitches.

  15. Hi Sharon,
    I don’t need a catch up week as I have just caught up after my holiday. Please have a look at my blog post as I found interresting ways of executing the butterfly chain stitch to turn them into flower heads:
    Happy stitching, Jessica

  16. My sample of knotted Cretan stitch is finished, see . It is not all knotted Cretan, part of it is Cretan without knot. Funny that you can not see it that well on the picture, but that you can feel the structure of the knots very good!

  17. vero says:

    bonjour sharon je viens de finir mon point de faisceau visible sur mon blog

  18. I am happy stitching this stitch. I posted my trial in my blog here.

  19. Hi Sharon, here is my Knotted Cretan Landscape:

  20. Kathleen says:

    This is my creation with the current stitch. I love to crazy stitch so my embroidery is on my new block that will eventually be in a small couch throw.

  21. Gayle Schipper says:

    Well, I am caught up. I put the last three stitches on my Flickr site and even got the stitching on my journal cover. That feels good. I can go with the majority. Forging ahead would work for me, but a week to get caught up on some other projects would be nice also. (I’m allowed “other” projects? What a thought!)

    Gayle in Northern California

  22. Luiz Vaz says:

    Hi Sharon & Friends, my post for the week:
    Happy stitches!

  23. Yes I could really use a Catch-Up week, please…

  24. Isabelle says:

    here are my stitches and my daughter’s :
    About the catch-up, I don’t “need” it, but a break week would be welcome.

  25. Mariainez L. Ribeiro dos Santos says:

    I don´t need a catch up week ,but I don´t mind if we have one.
    Here is my work for this week .

  26. Annet says:

    I finished an old Stitch Explorer sample with knotted Cretan stitch (and other TAST stitches of course!):

  27. Ann says:

    Here’s my work on the knotted cretan stitch. I enjoyed learning the stitch this week!

  28. Shami Immanuel says:

    The challenge for this week is here. I have worked knotted cretan stitch in round along with a shisha stitch.

    I will be better to have a catch up week.

  29. ValerieL says:

    Here is my sampler for this week:

    I can always use a catch up week for other projects I am trying to finish 🙂

  30. Maureen Bond says:

    I have 2 new and an old sample at

  31. Dear Sharon, I love this project very much!! and I am in time with my stitches, but, as they are mostly new for me, maybe it’s a good idea to have more time for practice 🙂 so, if you decide to get “week-off”, it would be a time for repeat new stitches, some of them I already forgot 🙂

    and, for this week here is my sample. I like this stitch very much!

    thank you!

  32. Claudia says:

    Here is my attempt on knotted cretan stitch:
    Happy Stitching! Claudia

  33. I’m caught up but if others need the extra time then sure.

  34. Just back from a holiday, caught up with week 21 and starting week 22. I’m good to go on 🙂
    Here’s my butterfly chain stitch

  35. Carol Harper says:

    I personally am caught up but I’m sure a week off would be a blessing to many. My Knotted Cretan Stitch is here:

  36. I don’t mind about the catch up week, what ever most people want is find by me.
    I have posted my Knotted Cretan Stitch on my blog and at the Flikr site.



  37. Hi Sharon,
    I am presently working on this knotted cretan stitch sampler, the details are here-
    thank you,

  38. vero says:

    je suis un peu en retard car je viens de finir le point de poste à voir sur mon site merci

  39. Angela says:

    I think a catch up week is a good idea. I have managed to stay on track but will be holidays next week so it is perfect timing for a break for me!
    You can see my knotted cretan stitch here

  40. I don’t ‘need’ a catch up week, but I don’t mind if we have one.
    My knotted cretan stitch can be found here
    Thanks Sharon.

  41. Debbie says:

    Knotted Cretan stitch:
    I am caught up, but I only complete the basic stitch as I am learning, not the beautiful & elaborate creations I so admire. I am ok either way – new stitch or catch up week.

  42. Andi says:

    Yes please for a catch up week!

  43. yvonne andersson says:

    I say no no no. Every week is find for me.

  44. Sandy Jandik says:

    I’ve posted my sample at I don’t need an extra week, but if it will keep more people stitching, it’s fine with me.

  45. Debbie says:

    I didn’t get last week’s done in time, but have it done together with this week’s. So, even though I’m all caught up, I definitely would like a week off! So, I vote yes for a catch up week.

    I didn’t like the knotted cretan, even though I like knot stitches in embroidery. Here’s my combined post for Week 21 and Week 22:

  46. I am very, very behind so my vote is yes to a catch up week. Thank you for all the help and inspiration.

  47. Hi Sharon, my mind boggled with the knotted creatan……..
    You can see my sample here……………………
    chris richards

  48. Christine T says:

    Hi Sharon, you can see my work for this week 22 here :

    I hope to continue this challenge every week, I have no need catchup, thank you.

  49. A week without a new challenge stitch? It will help others keep up with the pace, so my vote is YES.
    Thank you for all the inspiration and concern, you are a great teacher, Sharon.

  50. Brigitte Otto says:

    Maybe for those who want to catch up it would be better to have a catch up week. So in their favour I vote yes.

  51. Personally I do not need a catch up week. The “new” stitch gives sometimes a lot of inspiration and sometimes I do not know what to stitch, doing just a few rows. Or I had done it earlier and sometimes I think that’s enough. Every Tuesday I am very curious about the stitch of that week.

  52. Cyndi L says:

    I love this stitch! Since I only used two strands of floss, I looped each knot twice so they’d show up. I like the looks of this stitch along the edges of my quilt:

    I don’t care either way about a catch up week, but if folks are feeling pressured then I think it’s a good idea. Personally, I’ve skipped a few weeks and feel no guilt about it at all…this challenge is for me to learn, not to stress!

  53. Carole Auden says:

    Hi Sharon, thanks for the offer, but I would vote no to a catch up week. I’m keeping up with CQJP as well, and both challenges offer the opportunity to try out the TAST additional ‘new’ stitches. Cheers, Carole

  54. nancilyn says:

    A respite, pleeeease.

  55. Annet says:

    I was up late last night, so I had a quick look at the new stitch before I turned my computer off. It worked, I stitched 3 new rows this morning. I wrote a post about the new rows and my old TAST 2007 sampler here:
    Now for the catch up week, yes please! Never thought I had to tell you this!

  56. Catch-up week? Yes please! Maybe 2 or 3! I am about 6 weeks behind now, after being sick for a week in April followed by a couple of forays out of town (I don’t take these projects with me), so a bit of time to catch up would be a blessing. Thank you!

  57. Plum Cox says:

    I’d love a catch up week – although even that may not be enough as I seem to be about five stitches behind!

  58. Ann says:

    I’m caught up, so I don’t need a catch-up week.

  59. yes, I’d like a catch up week. Thank you for offering a little break.

  60. Claudia says:

    Hi Sharon and everyone,
    personally I could go on because I`’m used to time pressure. But I agree with Sharon, in no case we should loose stitchers. So I would like to have a catch up week! Thank you !
    Happy Stitching!
    Cheers Claudia

  61. Juno says:

    A catch up week would be nice. Thanks

  62. iHanna says:

    I was quite sad when there was a week with no new stitch last time and I didn’t even notice there would be a vote, probably only those who wanted that catch up week spoke up. This time I’m just adding: no thank you, please keep posting stitches each week! I love that it’s a weekly project.

    Thanks and be well.

  63. A catch up week would be a good idea I think, for all your above reasons.

  64. Yes, another catch-up week would be nice. I’m almost up to date with my stitch samples, (although I haven’t posted since mid-April), and it’ll take only half an hour to do the latest two, but I wouldn’t mind chance to do a small piece with the recent stitches.

    Thanks again for all your hard work.=)

  65. HGK says:

    I would definately like a catch up week!
    I missed 7 weeks though, so 1 week to catch up would probably not be enough 🙂 But I guess I could make a start!

  66. konnykards says:

    I’ll have to rely on a previous sample yet again – oh dear, I’m not catching up!
    So, yes, a catch up week please – hopefully I’ll soon be well enough to really take part again.
    Connie – konnykards

  67. Hi Sharon, I dont mind a catch up week, if it helps others !
    chris r

  68. Sharyn says:

    Yes please, can I have a catch up week – I haven’t even finished my french knots! Thats how late I’m running!

  69. My answer is yes or no.
    I don’t mind a catch up, but now I am trying to do two stitches a week , so I will certainly manage to catch up in any case.

  70. TAHON THERESE says:

    pour moi pas besoin, mais je peux comprendre
    bonne journée

  71. Margaret says:

    happy to fit in with everyone else

  72. Kathleen says:

    As an experienced embroidered it gives me great pleasure to hear people are learning the art of embroidery. It is wonderful to pass on any knowledge in a comfortable manner. I feel it is important for new people not to be stressed when learning.

    My vote is YES to catch up week.

  73. Petra Weiler says:

    This time, I would like to have a catch up week, as I had so many things to do those last weeks, that I couldn´t follow. Catching up would bring me up to date.

  74. Marie says:

    Yes please, for catch up week.

  75. sorany lopez says:

    que puntadas tan bonitas, pero no entiendo con que puntada se hace para los surcos grandes. mil gracias

  76. Romona says:

    Yes please for a catch up week…. Thanks

  77. Triche Osborne says:

    Ooh–I really like the look of this stitch!

  78. Crazyqstitcher says:

    Though I am up to date, I’d prefer others to have the chance to catch up. TAST is a great way for beginners to learn and old hands to experiment more. I don’t like to see anyone drop out feeling pressured.

    grin….. I can always do a bit of housework to fill in time.

  79. Yuma Tatter says:

    I would rather not have a catch up week this week. At this point, I’m caught up. Since we had a 5th Tuesday in May, and I use the TAST stitches for my CQJP, I allowed a space for the 5th stitch, knotted Cretan. Only 3 stitches for June would limit my June block. So…my vote is no.

  80. No need for a catchup week for me.

  81. Kathy says:

    no, I am caught up

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