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!

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90 Comments

  1. YES! I am so far behind I can no longer see the light at the end of my tunnel. And stitching my TAST samples is on my TO-DO List for next week now that family commitments have slowed down.

    Kathy
  2. Well, I am caught up. I put the last three stitches on my Flickr site and even got the stitching on my journal cover. That feels good. I can go with the majority. Forging ahead would work for me, but a week to get caught up on some other projects would be nice also. (I’m allowed “other” projects? What a thought!)

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stitchintime

    Gayle in Northern California

    Gayle Schipper
  3. Dear Sharon, I love this project very much!! and I am in time with my stitches, but, as they are mostly new for me, maybe it’s a good idea to have more time for practice 🙂 so, if you decide to get “week-off”, it would be a time for repeat new stitches, some of them I already forgot 🙂

    and, for this week here is my sample. I like this stitch very much!
    http://alovchany.blogspot.com/2012/06/tast-22-knotted-cretan.html

    thank you!

  4. Personally I do not need a catch up week. The “new” stitch gives sometimes a lot of inspiration and sometimes I do not know what to stitch, doing just a few rows. Or I had done it earlier and sometimes I think that’s enough. Every Tuesday I am very curious about the stitch of that week.

  5. I love this stitch! Since I only used two strands of floss, I looped each knot twice so they’d show up. I like the looks of this stitch along the edges of my quilt:
    http://www.beading-arts.com/2012/05/tast-week-22-knotted-cretan-stitch.html

    I don’t care either way about a catch up week, but if folks are feeling pressured then I think it’s a good idea. Personally, I’ve skipped a few weeks and feel no guilt about it at all…this challenge is for me to learn, not to stress!

  6. Hi Sharon, thanks for the offer, but I would vote no to a catch up week. I’m keeping up with CQJP as well, and both challenges offer the opportunity to try out the TAST additional ‘new’ stitches. Cheers, Carole

    Carole Auden
  7. Hi Sharon and everyone,
    personally I could go on because I`’m used to time pressure. But I agree with Sharon, in no case we should loose stitchers. So I would like to have a catch up week! Thank you !
    Happy Stitching!
    Cheers Claudia

  8. I was quite sad when there was a week with no new stitch last time and I didn’t even notice there would be a vote, probably only those who wanted that catch up week spoke up. This time I’m just adding: no thank you, please keep posting stitches each week! I love that it’s a weekly project.

    Thanks and be well.

  9. Yes, another catch-up week would be nice. I’m almost up to date with my stitch samples, (although I haven’t posted since mid-April), and it’ll take only half an hour to do the latest two, but I wouldn’t mind chance to do a small piece with the recent stitches.

    Thanks again for all your hard work.=)

  10. I would definately like a catch up week!
    I missed 7 weeks though, so 1 week to catch up would probably not be enough 🙂 But I guess I could make a start!
    Thanks,
    Audrey
    hetkabinet.blogspot.com

    HGK
  11. As an experienced embroidered it gives me great pleasure to hear people are learning the art of embroidery. It is wonderful to pass on any knowledge in a comfortable manner. I feel it is important for new people not to be stressed when learning.

    My vote is YES to catch up week.

    Kathleen
  12. This time, I would like to have a catch up week, as I had so many things to do those last weeks, that I couldn´t follow. Catching up would bring me up to date.

    Petra Weiler
  13. Though I am up to date, I’d prefer others to have the chance to catch up. TAST is a great way for beginners to learn and old hands to experiment more. I don’t like to see anyone drop out feeling pressured.

    grin….. I can always do a bit of housework to fill in time.

    Crazyqstitcher
  14. I would rather not have a catch up week this week. At this point, I’m caught up. Since we had a 5th Tuesday in May, and I use the TAST stitches for my CQJP, I allowed a space for the 5th stitch, knotted Cretan. Only 3 stitches for June would limit my June block. So…my vote is no.

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