Buttonhole Stitch (fig. 5) is familiar to every one. The working can be clearly seen by the diagram. In the drawing it is represented rather open; both open and closed it can be used effectively. The spacing can also be varied in many ways; two stitches together, then a space and two stitches again falling alternately, makes a good edging. Further, by changing the direction and crossing the stitch, working one over the other, as in fig. 5A, an interesting border is made. For open fillings of leaves, flowers, and all kinds of spaces, buttonhole stitch is very serviceable. Numerous effects are obtained by working the stitches in rows. A solid filling with this stitch is given by closely working each row into the heading of the previous one. The stitches only enter the material in the first row and at the ends of each successive row, on the boundary line of the form being filled. The tailor's method of making buttonhole stitch with an extra knot in the heading is strong and very decorative (see fig. 5B, page 247).

Stitches 104

SB. - Tailor's Buttonhole Stitch.

French Knots (fig. 6). - After the thread is brought through the material, the silk is twisted twice round the needle, whilst holding it tightly with the left finger and thumb. Then put the needle in again near the point it came out first and draw the silk through, only releasing it with the left finger and thumb as it tightens in the pulling. The number of twists round the needle can be varied; two turns are usual.

This knotted stitch does not seem to be confined to any country. Though much favoured by Oriental needle-workers, we find it in Spanish, Italian, and old English work. It is employed in the last named for rendering the foliage of trees and shrubs.

The rose here illustrated (from Chinese embroidery) is entirely in French knots in three shades of silk.

Stitches 105

Rose in French Knots.

Another variety of knotted stitch which resembles bullion is Bullion Knot (fig. 6a). A stitch is taken into the material the length of the roll required; the thread is then twisted perhaps seven or eight or more times round the point of the needle, which is with great care drawn through the coil made by the twists, the left thumb being placed lightly upon the coil during the process. The needle is then inserted again in the place where it first entered the material. In other words, you treat the thread in the same way you would bullion or purl.

Tent Stitch* (fig. 6b), like cross stitch, is usually worked upon an open web, net, or coarse canvas; but it does not follow that the worker is forbidden to use either of the stitches on fine-textured materials. In making tent stitch on an open mesh, the needle is stepped diagonally from one thread of the fabric to the next in a line. It is the first half of the cross stitch.

Cross Stitch (fig. 6c). - A regular and even cross on the surface. See Plates No. 30 and 32.

* Called canvas stitch and cushion stitch (Opus Pul-vinarium). Gobelin stitch is a variety of tent stitch. When worked on canvas, the needle is taken over two threads each time instead of one, as in tent stitch.

Called mosaic stitch, canvas stitch, and cushion stitch. The cushion or canvas stitch group is rather confusing with regard to the various names by which they are known. They are called Hungarian, Spanish, Florentine, Bargello, Parisian, Moorish, Milanese, Gobelin, Cashmere, or Indian, Irish, Holbein, and Rococo.

Plate No. 58.

Stitches 106

Plate No. 58.

Figs. 7 to 11 on this plate illustrate stitches which can be worked in the hand or the frame. They are all suitable for narrow bands or borders, when a braid-like effect is sought.

Figs. 7 and 8 are worked along the finger from left to right, the needle always pointing downwards. They can both be worked openly to show the ground between the stitches, or closed.

Figs. 9 and 10 * are worked across the finger, the needle always pointing on the slant towards the centre from the left and right alternately.

Fig. 11.- Also held towards the worker across the finger, the needle pointing from right to left downwards in a slanting direction and upwards alternately.

* Called plait or Cretan stitch, Called Roumanian stitch.

Stitches 107

Leaf outlined and veined in Chain Stitch.

Plate No. 59.

Stitches 108

Plate No. 59.

Chain Stitch (fig. 12) is made by taking a stitch downwards, and before the needle is drawn out of the fabric, the silk is brought round towards the worker and under the point of the needle. Chain stitch is found in the earliest examples of ornamental needlework. It has been used at all times, for all purposes. There are a quantity of examples amongst the Persian and Indian work in the Victoria and Albert Museum, where the ground is filled in solidly with chain stitch. In these embroideries the stitch has been executed on the tambour frame with a crochet-hook, which replaces the needle. A regular and mechanical result is produced by this method, and the worker will find it is more satisfactory not to use the crochet-hook, but to be content with the needle for working this stitch.

A good border is made by square chain, worked openly or closed (see figs. 13 and 14). To commence these stitches two parallel lines are marked on the material, and the needle is taken through from one to the other, the thread being looped under the point of the needle as it comes out of the fabric each time. Figs. 12, 13, 14, are all worked on the same principle, as will be seen by the diagrams.

When variety in line is demanded, the chain can be arranged as a zigzag, worked between two traced lines, as in figs. 13 and 14. One link slants across and the other back, up and down.