Today I am going to show you a stitch my Ukrainian friend Tetiana showed me last week. I showed her and Rushda from Pakistan how to make beautiful bullion roses and spider web silk ribbon roses. In return, I learned of a new stitch which Tetiana calls figure-of-8-stitch. The difference with the stitches I usually use, is that you start with a double thread:
You make a stitch, but don't pull the thread all the way through!
Come up with the needle close to where you started. Now split the two threads and lay one above the needle.
Pull through gently and this is what your first stitch should look like. Now does that remind you of something? A bit chain stitchy, isn't it?
Here are both stitches side by side. I started on the right with both stitches. The new stitch below and ordinary chain stitch above (for which I used a single thread, as you would). I can't really tell the difference. Can you?
However, the difference becomes apparent on the reverse. Above the continuous line of an ordinary chain stitch and below a running stitch. So there really is a difference. And I can see that the cleaner back of the new stitch has its merits for some projects.
I decided to stitch a quick sampler to see how the Ukrainian stitch behaves in curves and points. It follows curves really well. But the real advantage compared to chain stitch is that it can do sharp points easily. You just follow the same trick as when you would make a sharp point with stem stitch (that is; you reverse stitch direction for the first stitch past the point). And it works similarly quick as chain stitch, once you have the hang of it.
So now it is over to you. Have you encountered this stitch before? And if so: where? And what was it called?
Jessica M. Grimm
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