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!

 

 

Cretan stitch

Sample of Cretan stitch 2Cretan stitch  can be used in many decorative ways. With it you can fill a shape, create a border, create a line, or if you arrange row of Cretan stitch in lines it makes a wonderful filling stitch to work within a shape. You can use it to couch down threads or to weave a thread through!

Sample of Cretan stitch 1You can also use it in freeform and adventurous manner to great effect. It really is a very versatile stitch that many people underestimate. Cretan stitch is also known as  Open Cretan, Persian stitch and long-armed feather stitch.

How to work Cretan Stitch

step by step illustrated stitch instructions for Cretan Stitch1Work from left to right between 2 imaginary lines. Bring the needle through the fabric at the start of the line. Move along slightly and insert your needle on the outside edge to make a small stitch by pointing the needle to the centre. Keeping the thread under the needle pull it through your fabric.

step by step illustrated stitch instructions for Cretan Stitch 2Move to the lower outside edge of the line and repeat the action.

step by step illustrated stitch instructions for Cretan Stitch 3Make sure that with each small stitch the thread is under the needle.

step by step illustrated stitch instructions for Cretan Stitch 4Continue working until the shape or line is filled.

Sample of Cretan stitch 6There are many ways to use Cretan stitch. Here I have added some seed beads to the arms of the stitch. I used cotton perle #8 thread to work the main band and then added detached chain stitches in silk thread at the tops of the arms before adding some seed beads.

Sample of Cretan stitch 5 Cretan stitch works very well if you stack it row upon row. In this sample I worked two narrow lines of the stitch. each stitch itself is wide but the arms are thin as each bite of the fabric I took was small. I worked both rows in cotton perle #5.

Sample of Cretan stitch 3Here is another sample also worked in cotton perle #5 but in this case the arms of the stitch are wider because with each stitch I took a larger bite of the fabric.

Sample of Cretan stitch 4You can also work two rows on top of each other . This can very effective particularly if you add beads etc to the arms.

Sample of Cretan stitch on crazy quilting 11In this sample on crazy quilting I added bugle beads to the space between the arms.

Sample of Cretan stitch on crazy quilting 10Here another example on crazy quilting worked in rayon ribbon floss. Bugle beads are are added alongside the V like shape of the stitch and the arms are topped with 5 detached chain stitches that have a bugle bead in the middle too.

Sample of Cretan stitch 7Another way to use Cretan stitch is to work on side of the arms narrower than the other or change the width of the arms to create patterns. This sample is two rows of Cretan stitch worked in cotton perle #5 thread with novelty beads stitched in the middle of the two rows.

Sample of Cretan stitch 8This sample is a similar idea as it is worked in two lines.  I varied the arm of the Cretan stitches so that one side they formed hills and valleys. I then added back stitch on each side to contain the Cretan stitches. Next I worked slipped detached chain stitches in line. The thread is a hand dyed wool.

Sample of Cretan stitch 9This last sample is an experiment with novelty yarns and organic type lines. From left to right the first thread is a feathery knitting yarn which would work for underwater seascapes and the like. The second is a crochet cotton that is hand dyed and is about the same thickness as cotton perle #5 and the last is boucle yarn.

Have you seen my book?

holding my book in front of quilt

My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results  shares detailed practical methods about how to design and make a crazy quilt. From fabric choice, to balancing colour, texture and pattern, in order to balance and direct the eye around the block.  I cover how to stitch, build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim was to be practical and inspiring.

My Crazy quilters templates

My templates for crazy quilters aim to help you take your stitching to the next level.With my templates you are able to create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish your seams  with flair. These templates are easy to use, made of clear plastic so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.

using my Crazy Quilt Templates set 2These are simple to use. You simply position the template in place and use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template. Stitch along this line to decorate the seam. I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set which illustrates how they can be used.

TO ORDER your Crazy Quilt Templates

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 
Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 

For the Love of Stitching Sampler – Band 357

Stitches

This band of stitching is made up of a row of Cretan stitch which has a  detached chain stitch worked on the end or each bar. I then added a seed bead.

Thread 

The Creten stitch is worked in DMC perle #8 thread. and the detached chain stitches are worked in hand dyed silk.

Fabric:

Linda, 27cnt evenweave fabric produced by Zweigart

Dyes: 

Procion dyes for the silk thread.

Date:

This section of the sampler was worked in November 2007.

 

Size:

 

The For Love of Stitching Band Sampler is 15 cm (6 inches) wide. It consists of different strips of fabric which are are stitched together to form one long strip. It currently measures 24.8 yards or 22.75 metres long and I have more bands to add.

 

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

 

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