This week the stitch for TAST is a composite stitch called Barb stitch but before I give directions on how to work this stitch I want to remind people that I have decided to take a TAST break after stitch 140. Next year I will return to the series if there is interest. With the holiday season most people drop away so this year instead of racing around trying to write tutorials in December I am taking a break. However there will still be TAST challenge stitches all November. If you are worried about losing touch subscribe to my newsletter!
So on with the stitch of the week. Barb stitch is another simple stitch that is easy to work yet versatile enough to create lots of variations. Barb stitch creates a line with a ridge down the center. You can work Barb stitch in a single line straight or on a curve. When worked in curve, in an irregular manner it looks very organic which means it is good for twiggy bits incorporated in a floral motif.
Or if you work Barb stitch in a straight line you can vary the height of the arms to create patterns. Another method is to repeat rows to create a border. Different arrangements of the rows can build up interlocking patterns to create interesting needlework fillings.
How to work Barb stitch
You need to know how to work buttonhole stitch to work barb stitch as is consists of two foundation rows of buttonhole worked back to back. These are then whipped with a second thread.
First work a row of buttonhole stitch.
Turn your work and work a second row of buttonhole stitch so that the two rows are back to back.
With a second thread, using a blunt-ended tapestry needle, so that the foundation threads do not split whip the lines of buttonhole stitches. Slide the needle under each loop at the base of the buttonhole whip two rows of buttonhole together as illustrated.
Continue the length of the line.
The threads I used in the sample is cotton perle #5 but you can whip in a contrasting colour, texture or thickness to the thread used for the foundation rows. Metallic yarns can create a rich effect. You can use the buttonhole rows to couch down ribbons or textured novelty yarns.
How to work Beaded Barb Stitch
With this stitch the beading is done during the stitching process not added afterward. The trick is use a size 26 tapestry needle. Since the eye of a tapestry needle is long you can thread perle #8 and Perle #5 through the long eye. However the needle itself is thin which means you can add a bead to your working thread as you stitch.
Work two rows of buttonhole stitch back to back as you would with regular barb stitch.
With a second thread, using a #26 tapestry needle, so that you can thread a bead on your working thread slide the needle under loop at the base of the buttonhole to whip the two rows together. Whip the first stitch then add a bead to your working thread before whipping the second stitch. Continue down the line and whip every second stitch with a bead on your thread as illustrated.
Both versions are a very easy and quick to work I hope you enjoy the stitch!
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How to join TAST
Stitch a sample of this stitch or ANY of the stitches listed on the TAST FAQ page. Once you have worked a sample, photograph it and put it online at your blog, flickr site etc then swing back to the Last TAST post listed and leave a comment. This is a guilt free challenge to learn hand embroidery stitches. You can stitch 1, 10 or all of the TAST stitches, swing in and out of the chellenge as life dictates and generally mooch along learning a bit here and bit there. All are welcome.