How to embroider Alternating Barred Chain Stitch

Alternating Barred chain stitch sample 4Alternating Barred Chain stitch is one of those interesting textured stitches that you may want to add to your hand embroidery repertoire of stitches. It is an interesting member of the chain stitch family that produces a  textured line.  I think that Alternating Barred Chain stitch is in some ways more interesting than its sister Barred chain as I like the pattern and swing that is set up by the alternating arms of this stitch. This swing can create movement in a piece.

Alternating Barred Chain can be worked easily and quickly and looks great in chunky textured novelty threads. This stitch follows a curve well and is great for creating designs with an organic feel. You can use it to represent a thorny vine or in underwater scenes representing seaweed and marine plants.

 

Alternating Barred chain stitch sample 3

How to work Alternating Barred Chain Stitch

Work from top to bottom. Start with a basic chain stitch.

step by step barred chain stitch 1Insert the needle to the left of the chain with the tip emerging a short space down the line.

step by step Alternating Barred chain stitch1The gap can vary, depending upon how wide you want the ‘spike’ of the chain. The wider the gap the larger the spike.

step by step Alternating Barred chain stitch 2Wrap the thread under the needle point, towards the right as illustrated and pull the needle through the fabric.The thread will cross as you do this, producing a crossed stitch as illustrated.

step by step Alternating Barred chain stitch 3The second stitch is a basic chain stitch.

step by step Alternating Barred chain stitch 4Insert the needle to the right of the chain with the tip emerging a short space down the line. Wrap the thread under the needle point, towards the left as illustrated and pull the needle through the fabric.

step by step Alternating Barred chain stitch 5Repeat this pattern of single chain and barred chain angled left, followed by a single chain, then a barred chain angled right.

Alternating Barred chain stitch sample 1Alternating Barred chain produces interesting  hard wearing bands if you work it row upon row.

Alternating Barred chain stitch sample 2Or you can set up a pattern by working two rows back to back and arranging the spines in a regular manner.

Alternating Barred chain stitch sample 5You can change the number of stitches you work on each side too. Of course this creates another variety. Alternating Barred chain is also an ideal stitch to use in crazy quilting!

 

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