Stitch Explorer 2009 February

Hello everyone I hope you enjoyed last months challenge.

The challenge for this month is a little known stitch called trellis stitch.It is a raised needle woven stitch that I think is a lot of fun and has loads of potential. The image to the left is a version of the stitch called spiral trellis stitch.

This stitch looks complex but actually once you get in a rhythm it works up fine and new hands should not find it too difficult.

Like in crochet and knitting if you want to decrease skip a stitch and if you want to increase add a stitch by working two into the same place.

I was going to write a tutorial but two my delight I discovered that Jeanne of Just String has already written a very good well illustrated step by step guide.

Also Mary Corbet of Needle ‘n Thread has produced a video tutorial.

Between these two useful sites people have more than enough information to explore this little known and highly unusual stitch.

Unlike chicken scratch which is an embroidery style that is based on building a  pattern, the charm and interest of trellis stitch is based on the texture it produces.

During the TAST challenge many people were surprised at what could happen when you take an embroidery stitch and push it. I hope that if people take spiral Trellis stitch and experiment with it we will see all sorts of strange creatures and growths emerge from our needles.

These samples are worked using a perle cotton thread the same weight and thickness as perle 5

Worked in a circle viewed from above

Worked in a circle viewed from the side (this is the same sample)

Worked in a decreasing circle viewed from above

The same sample viewed from the side. As you can see it would be easy to tuck beads inside these forms.

Worked in a decreasing square viewed from above

The same sample viewed from another angle.

I hope people enjoy this stitch as I think it has loads of possibilities and deserves to better known.

Some ideas to try

Increase and Decrease: Increasing or decreasing as you work the rounds produces different effects.

Expand the shape outwards:

Contract the shape inwards:

Try different threads : What does thin, thick, matt, high shine, textured thread look like? What about hairy thread. How would silk work up or wool?

Try different shapes: Try triangles, hearts, circles, squares, hexagons etc see what they look like

Tuck beads in and around different shapes:

What do they look like clustered together on mass?

What do they look like arranged in a pattern?

What happens if you work them on a different or unusual fabric such as scrim, net or lace?

A Flickr Group

I have established a Flickr group for those who want to use it. The name is Stitchexplorer

How to participate in the stitch explorer challenge 

Stitch some samples that push this stitch

Blog it or put images somewhere online where people can see them. If you use flickr send them to the Stitchexplorer group

Come back to this post and leave a comment with your web address in it so that people can visit and see what you have done.

Have fun!


For the Love of Stitching Sampler – Band 35

This band is a mix of stitches that can be used to create flower motifs. In the sample you can see experiments with  bullion knot,   buttonhole wheel stitch,  Cretan stitch,  detached chain stitch,  French knot,  and woven spiders wheel


There are a mix of threads used in this sample. They include DMC perle thread 8. Hand dyed cotton and silk.

A hand dyed wool which is about the same weight as Appletons, and a hand dyed Danish cotton which feels and works up in a similar way to coton a broder. Silk ribbon and a thread that has a metallic thread running through it.

The Danish cotton, mercerised cotton, silk and wool were purchased in bulk from a weavers supplier and  hand dyed by me.


This section of the sampler is worked on tea towel linen which is not quite an even weave.


Procion cold water dyes for threads that consist of natural fibre such as the cotton, wool and silk


All samples are 15 cm (6 inches) wide and stitched together in one long band sampler.

The sampler is currently 44 ft 5 inches or 533 inches (1353.83 centimetres) or 14.8 yards  (13.53 metres) long and still being added to.


This section of the sampler is dated 1996 – Jan 1998


Sampler FAQ and back story
For the full back story on this piece visit the Sampler FAQ.


All posts in the series are in the category  the Love of Stitching Band Sampler.