Sunday, 26 February 2012

TAST week 8: Chain stitch

English name: Chain stitch
Swedish name: Kedjestygn, kedjesöm

As mentioned in the previous posts I have some issues with chain stitch, often pulling the stitches too hard. Sometimes I prefer tambour stitch instead as it's at least faster. Inspired by Jane Davis' book I wanted to do some beaded stitches as the beads help me with the spacing and tension. That is also the reason I used aida. Let's just say it's been a week where I didn't want the embroidery stitches to add to my frustration.

My focus was on basic chain stitch and variations of it. No fancy variations or anything like that, but really what you can make with this relatively simple stitch "everyone" learned in school.

First my Aurica sample. It took some trial and error to get the right spacing this time. The open chain stitch in the middle was kind of a flop, but I liked the last chain stitches (bottom right). The top row could probably be useful in certain designs too.

For my first variations I played with alternating long and short stitches (bottom row) and making zig-zag rows. The second row from the bottom has a second, off-set, row of stitches on top of the first. The top right row (below the 2-loop stitches) is a row of stitches interlaced with the first row beneath it.

I then proceeded with some beaded variations, using 2-6 beads per loop/stitch. Viewed from the top, the first three variations have beads on both sides of each stitch. The remaining variations only have beads on one side, either on the same side (bottom right) or alternating (middle right and bottom left). The left side of the top row is whipped beaded chain stitch -- the only whipped variation I did this week. For the last row I experimented with two colours, wanting to get a striped pattern.

Lastly, I used the chain stitch to couch a short section of ball chain -- inspired by the couching I showed in this post. Gave up halfway through before realising that unlike my latest attempt couching this chain, it would be much easier if I tacked both ends of it to the fabric first. So if you see a break in the middle that's why.

PS! I just remembered I forgot to add a couple of pics of the chain stitches I tried last autumn. Will be adding them here soon. -- And here they are below, finally!

What is TAST?

Take a Stitch Tuesday is a weekly embroidery challenge throughout the year by Sharon of Pin Tangle. You can read more about it here (or by clicking the TAST badge to the right).

To see what others have done in this stitch, check out the comments in this post on Pin Tangle. Be sure not to miss Sharon's lovely stitch variations in the actual post.


  1. You've got some interesting variations there - particularly the alternation of small and large stitches - well done!


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