Oyster and Rosette chain


Just as other things in our life run in and out of fashion so do the use of a particular stitch. A particular stitch that is popular in one decade sometimes falls out of favour and is rarely used in the next. I have no idea why this happens. Perhaps people tire of it and move on to using other stitches.

Oyster stitch has been enjoying a renewed popularity in the last few years but it does have a poor cousin called Rosette. I have no idea why Rosette chain is not as popular as oyster stitch but at the moment that is the case. I only see it being worked occasionally but Rosette chain was very popular in the 70’s and 80’s as it produces a great braid like appearance which can be used in both contemporary embroidery or traditional work. You can often see rosette chain used in borders and perhaps that is one of the reasons that it is not used as often. What is referred to as border stitches were often used on domestic linens such as table cloths which few people embroider today. There is still a place for border stitches however as they can be used to outline larger motifs or create an interesting linear element to contemporary designs.

Oyster stitch is based on Rosette and can be useful in floral motifs. Contemporary embroiderers can also find it useful as produces a raised nobly spot. Both stitches are worth exploring as experimenting with different weights and thickness of thread yields interesting results.

To add extra sparkle both stitches can be combined with beading techniques. Rosette chain looks great with seed beads embedded in the braid and oyster stitch lends itself to beads at the base of placed in the center.

Contrasts in texture is one of the key elements in contemporary work so both these stitches are highly useful. Both look complicated at first glance but are actually not difficult to work. Needless to say I have added them both to the Stitch Collection today.

The illustration on the right is a detail taken from a crazy quilt block of Oyster stitch tucked between the prongs of feathered up and down stitch. Both are worked in silk.

The Leeds Tapestry

The Leeds Tapestry is the site of a 10-year community based textile project of 16 panels which narrates the city’s life. The project has been facilitated and designed by Kate Russell.

As a visitor to the site you navigate via images of the panels or images of sections of the panels. By selecting various areas you are able investigate the meaning of each image closely. A detailed description of who worked that particular image or section of the panel and details about its origin or historical source. This type of accreditation and documentation is something that is often lacking in community projects particularly large ones such as this. It was a pleasure to investigate the site and be able read about individuals contributions to the project.

Textile technique:

The Shirrell Kahn’s workshop provides a brief article with illustrations of fabric collage combined to create a wall piece. Kahn employs print making techniques, fabric painting and fabric manipulation to create a surface on to which embellishments such as embroidery and beading can be applied. The article is written to provoke ideas and stir the creative urges. It is presented as a free sample of Maggie Grey’s Workshop on the Web. A taster edition, is free but full access is by subscription.