Sunday, 26 July 2009

Blanket Stitch

The Blanket (outer edge) stitching needs completing before any cutting or speciality stitches are worked.The cutting around the edge of the bookmark is done once the bookmark is complete.

Blanket Stitch looks like continuous Kloster Blocks but with an outer edge, and is stitched using the same size thread. Use the small piece of 14ct to practise before starting the bookmark.If your stitching is a stitch over or under in width, your bookmark will fall apart when you cut the edge. The outer corner can be quite tricky to keep on line so it may help to practise first.

Blanket stitch is best worked clockwise as the corded edge lies more evenly; the chart instructions highlight where to begin stitching.

To begin come up the hole before your first stitch, shown above as a diamond. Go down the inner (open) side (1) of the next stitch and up the outer edge (2).Your thread must wrap round the needle to make the corded edge. Continue by going down at (3).

To form an outer corner, blanket stitch as normal but use the same inner hole (A), changing direction after 5 stitches. You can check the corner is correct as the new direction should have the same thickness of stitch (over 4 holes).

To perform an inner corner, blanket stitch as normal and use the outer hole (A) again for the edge of the new turned stitch. You need to come up to the left of your thread to form the wrapped edge.

Cast on and off the same way as for kloster blocks. To finish a thread, loop over the outer edge of the last stitch and go back down the same outer hole; cast off. To begin a new thread come up the same outer hole but to the left of the stitch, your thread will then wrap over when you begin stitching.
This is how your blanket stitch and corners should look. The lower stitching (two colour) shows how the start a new thread.

This is how your stitching should look on the reverse. You can use the back to check you have not gone off line at the outer corner - this can easily happen as the stitching is close together.

Happy stitching.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Kloster Blocks

This tutorial is for stitchers who have not done any kloster blocks before. These blocks of stitches form the basis of Hardanger Embroidery.

Use a small square of 14ct aida to practise; 4" x 4" is ideal. You will need to use Perle 5# (this is slightly too big for 14ct but will clearly show you how to form the stitches).

Use this chart to make a small diamond of kloster blocks

and this diagram to show you how to stitch. You will work clockwise round the diamond.
You need to keep your stitching in blocks being careful not to have diagonal stitches across the back when turning a corner or to come up the adjacent hole instead of the opposite side of the block.

This is how your stitching should look from the front.

and this is the correct back.
To cast on and off pass your thread under two stitches then back over one, repeat until you feel it is secure.

You should have 5 stitches per block on the front. You can have 3, 4 or 6 stitches on the back - do not worry this is correct so long as you have blocks and no diagonal or adjacent stitches.

This back is incorrect, there should be no diagonal at the top and the bottom left block has adjacent stitches which will come undone when cut.

Good luck with your kloster blocks.