A single sampler is devoted to Rope and Knotted Stitches. They are more nearly akin than they look, for rope-stitch is all but knotted as it is worked.
ROPE-STITCH is so called because of its appearance. It takes a large amount of silk or wool to work it, but the effect is correspondingly rich. It is worked from right to left, and is easier to work in curved lines than in straight.
Lines A on the sampler, Illustration 29 (Rope-Stitch And Knot Stitch Sampler), represent the ordinary appearance of the stitch ; its construction is more apparent in the central stalk B, which is a less usual form of the same stitch, worked wider apart.
Having brought out your needle at the right end of the work, hold part of the thread towards the left, under the thumb, the rest of it falling to the right; put your
The Working Of A, B, On Rope-Stitch Sampler
To Work A, B
needle in above where it came out, slant it towards you, and bring it out again a little in advance of where it came out before, and just below the thread held under your thumb. Draw the thread through, and there results a stitch which looks rather like a distorted chain stitch (B). The next step is to make another similar stitch so close to the foregoing one that it overlaps it partly. It is this overlapping which gives the stitch the raised and rope-like appearance seen at A. A knotted line (C on the sampler, Illustration 29 (Rope-Stitch And Knot Stitch Sampler)) is produced by what is known as
"German Knot-stitch," effective only in thick soft silk or wool. Begin as in rope-stitch, keeping your thread in the same position. Then put your needle into the stuff just above the thread stretched under your thumb, and bring it out just below and in a line with where it went in ; lastly, keep the needle above the loose end of the thread, draw it through, tightening the thread upwards, and you have the first of your knots : the rest follow at intervals determined by your wants.
The more open stitch at D is practically the same
The Working Of C On Rope-Stitch Sampler
To Work C
To Work D
thing, except that in crossing the running thread you take up more of the stuff on each side of it.
What is known by the name of " Old ENGLISH KNOT-STITCH" (E) is a much more complicated stitch. Keeping your thread well out of the way to the right, put your needle in to the left, and take up vertically a piece of the stuff the width of the line to be worked at its widest, and draw the thread through. Then, keeping it under the thumb to the left, put your needle, eye first, downwards, through the slanting stitch just made; draw the thread not too tight, and, keeping it as before under the thumb, put your needle, eye first, this time through the upper half only of the slanting stitch, making a kind of buttonhole-stitch round the last, and draw out your thread.
The importance of these rather ragged-looking and fussy knotted rope stitches, by whatever name they are called, may easily be over-rated. They are not much more than fancy stitches. KNOTS used separately are of much more artistic account.
Bullion or Roll-stitch is shown in its simplest form in the petals of the flowers F on the sampler, Illustration 29 (Rope-Stitch And Knot Stitch Sampler). To work one such petal, begin by attaching the thread very firmly; bring your needle out at the base of the petal, put it in at the tip, and bring it out once more at the base, only drawing it partly through. With your right hand wind the thread, say seven times, round the projecting ooint of the needle from left to right. Then.
To Work E
To Work F
holding the coils under your left thumb, your thread to the right, draw your needle and thread through ; and, dropping the needle, and catching the thread round your little finger, take hold of the thread with your thumb and first finger and draw the coiled stitch to the right, tightening it gently
The Working Of F On Knot-Stitch Sampler
until quite firm. Lastly, put the needle through at the tip of the petal, and the stitch is complete and ready to be fastened off.
The leaves of these flowers consist simply of two bullion stitches. The bullion knots at the side of the central stalk are curled by taking up in the first instance only the smallest piece of the stuff.
To work French Knots (G), having brought out your needle at the point where the knot is to be, hold the thread under your thumb, and, letting it lie to the right, put your needle under the stretched part of it. Turn the needle so as to twist the thread once round it. That done, put the needle in again about where it came out, draw it through from the back, and bring it out where the next knot is to be.
For large knots use two or more threads of silk, and do not twist them more than
To Work G
The Working Of G On Knot-Stitch Sampler
once. With a single thread you may twist twice, but the result of twisting three or four times is never happy.
The use of knots is well shown in Illustration 24 (Buttonhole, Chain, And Knot Stitches). Worked there in white silk floss upon a dark purple ground, they are quite pearly in appearance, whether in rows between the border lines, or scattered over the ground. They are most useful in holding the design together, giving it mass, and go admirably with chain-stitching, to which, when close together, they have at first sight some likeness. A single line of knots may almost be mistaken for chain-stitch; but of themselves they do not make a good outline, lacking firmness. A happier use of them is to fringe an outline, as for example in the peacock's tail on page 38 ; but this expedient must be used with reticence, or it results in a rather rococo effect. Good use is sometimes made of knots to pearl the inner edge of a pattern worked in outline, or to pattern the ornament (instead of the ground) all over. Differencing of this kind may be an afterthought - and a happy one - affording as it does a ready means of giving texture or of qualifying a colour which may not have worked out quite to the embroiderer's liking.
The obvious fitness of knots to represent the stamens of flowers is exemplified in Illustration 101 (Delicate Satin-Stitch - Worked By Miss Buckle). Worked close together, they represent admirably the eyes of composite flowers, as on the sampler; they give, again, valuable variety of texture to the crest of the stork in Illustration 85 (Satin And Plumage Stitches).
The effect of knotting in the mass is shown in Illustration 31 (A Tour De Force In Knots), embroidered entirely in knots, contradicting, it might seem, what was said above about its unfitness for outline work. The lines, even the voided ones, are here as sharp as could be ; but then, it is not many of us who work, knot by knot, with the marvellous precision of a Chinaman. His knotted texture is not, however, always what it seems. He has a way of producing a knotted line by first knotting his thread (it may be done with a netting needle), and then stitching it down on to the surface of the material, which gives a
pearled or beaded line not readily distinguishable from knot stitch.
The Japanese embroiderer, instead of knotting his own thread, employed very often a crinkled braid. This is shown in the cloud work in Illustration 85 (Satin And Plumage Stitches). The only true knotting there is in the top-knot of the bird.