Knotted Cable Chain

Knotted Cable Chain

You can use Knotted Cable chain as a linear stitch on both plain and even-weave fabrics. The texture of the knot between chain stitches creates an interesting textured line. As with basic chain stitch, this version follows curves well, and can even be worked solidly as a filling stitch. A single Knotted cable chain stitch is known as Oyster stitch.

Crazy quilt detail 544

Knotted Cable chain stitch worked here in rayon ribbon floss on Block 83 of the ‘I Dropped the Button Box’ quilt.

How to work Knotted Cable Chain 

how to stitch knotted cable chain step 1
how to stitch knotted cable chain step 2

Bring the needle up through the fabric and work a twisted chain stitch on the line you want to work.

Slip the needle under the top thread above the twist.

Do not pick up any fabric when you do this. Pull the needle through the loop until the loop lies flat, but not tight.

how to stitch knotted cable chain step 3
how to stitch knotted cable chain step 4

Insert the needle back into where it first came out at the top of the chain.

Take the needle through the fabric bringing the point of the needle out a short way along the line to be stitched. With the thread wrapped under the needle’s point, pull the needle through the fabric.

Pull the thread through the fabric and you have created your first knotted cable chain stitch.

how to stitch knotted cable chain step 5

Make a small twisted chain stitch just below the larger chain.

how to stitch knotted cable chain step 6

Take the needle under the twist and repeat the steps along the row.

how to stitch knotted cable chain step 7

This is another quick and versatile stitch. You can also lace and thread this stitch in various ways taking advantage of the structure of the stitch by threading either the knot or the chain.

how to stitch knotted cable chain step

A line of Knotted cable chain stitch worked in cotton perle #5.

Knotted cable chain

Knotted Cable Chain stitch will follow a curve well as it is a member of the chain stitch family. I worked this sample below in a variegated cotton perle #5 on tea towel linen.

oyster stitch sample 9

Thread Twisties!

Experimenting with different threads can be expensive. You would normally have to buy a whole skein of each type of thread. My thread twisties are a combination of different threads to use in creative hand embroidery. These enable you to try out stitching with something other than stranded cotton. For the price of just a few skeins, you can experiment with a bundle of threads of luscious colours and many different textures.

These are creative embroiders threads. With them, I hope to encourage you to experiment. Each Twistie is a thread bundle containing silk, cotton, rayon and wool. Threads range from extra fine (the same thickness as 1 strand of embroidery floss) to chunky couchable textured yarns. All threads have a soft and manageable drape. Twisting them around a needle makes experimental hand embroidery an interesting journey rather than a battle.  Many are hand dyed by me. All are threads I use. You may find a similar thread twist but no two are identical.

You will find my thread twisties in the Pintangle shop here.


  1. Hi Sharon,
    No contribution from me this week.
    All I want to say is a big THANK YOU, for offering TAST this year. The new stitch I learned and liked most is Alternating barred chain stitch.
    I also want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and I Happy New Year.

  2. Hi Sharon,
    Thank you for offering this challenge. I learnt a lot about these stitches, the challenge opened a new world for me. so much of creativity of the other participants was a great experience. I am so much richer because of the skill and confidence I gained through your challenge.
    and thank you for continuing with the stitch challenge in the next year.
    this week’s stitch sampler-

  3. Brilliant solution Sharon. Looking forward to continuous challenge, and in advance of that, many thanks for offering your services again. Phew, I was really going to miss all this fun if we were to come to an end!!
    Seasons best
    Carole (Auden)

    Carole Auden

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