Saturday, 28 January 2012

TAST week 4: cretan stitch

English name: cretan stitch

Swedish name: kretastygn

This week's stitch was one I've never tried before. At least I can't recall having done it. As usually, if a stitch can be stitched on counted fabric I prefer trying it on aida as I don't have to worry about getting them straight and evenly spaced.

As you can see above, I played around with different variations. Especially layering multiple rows of cretan (with the bi-coloured row you can see how I "braided" the two rows). The zig zag shape in the bottom right is made by stitching fly stitches between the bars of the cretan stitches.

Then I switched to a different fabric. Mostly to be able to stitch closer -- I especially wanted to try the variation you can see in the top, layering three rows of stitches close to each other.

Of cause I had to give the Red Heart Aurica yarn a go this week too. Not as perfect a match as for feather stitch, but still a fun effect.

Next I wanted to do some beaded stitches. I tried adding bead both to the "bars" and to the centre, even doing a few stitches fully beaded. I prefer the ones with beads on the edges. (And I forgot to edit out that ugly stain, which I didn't see until I uploaded the pics... Did erase in the pic on Flickr so it'd look nicer. That's what you get for watchng TV, drinking must and having playful kittens around you when embroidering!)

The next stitches started as a variation on the think border shown in the second pic. Here three colours were used instead of one. For the bottom row, I did cretan in red and then added fly stitches on either side, purple on the top and orange on the bottom.

Here I stitched a row with green and then teal thread. The bottom row differs from the variation in the previous pic as I entered the fabric (with the teal thread) on one side of the green bar and came up again on the other, therefore covering the first layer of stitches more than previously. The stitches above that row is stitched with both green and teal thread on the same needle.

Then, finally, I also wanted to try using another novelty yarn. I ended up choosing Carat by Marks & Kattens. Should've used a slightly bigger needle, but it worked ok. It doesn't give such a special effect as the Aurica yarn, but it's always fun stitching with less common materials.

So that's it, my fourth week of the Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge finished. I do enjoy this type of stitch (blanket/buttonhole, feather, cretan) so it's been a lot of fun. So far I haven't dared try any of the knotted variations, but I'll have to do that soon. Have to learn some of the trickier stitches too.

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. What a lovely range of samples you've created.

  2. Wow. I am thrilled to see al the different ways of stitching. Wonderful work. Kathy

  3. I am enjoying seeing your exploration and experimentation with the stitches. Well done.

  4. Your examples of the stitch are very creative, and very interesting variations of the stitch.

  5. you really gave this stitch a workout~!
    i like to see all of the variations and the uses of different threads.
    i think the one that captured my attention the most is the layering of three stitches quite closely and using the three different colors.
    you've given me some new thoughts about this stitch.
    thank you for sharing.


  6. wow, you found so many vairations of this stitch. great jobs !

  7. Maneki,I like your stitching exploration especially one stitched with 3 shades ..

  8. I LOVE the effect you created in the third photo (the aurica yarn, I think). Sumptous and elegant! I could see this as a repeating pattern to decorate a linen dress or shirt.

  9. Oops! I've totally forgot to say thanks...

    Thank you so much for your comments! I'm really behind on seeing (and commenting) on what everyone else have done, but I hope to be able to catch up soon.

  10. Lovely work! Great exploration of variations...


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