Herring-bone (fig. 15). - A stitch well known to the seamstress, and very easy to work. Imagine two parallel lines marking the width of the space to be filled with the stitch, bring the needle through on one line, pass over to the other line and insert the needle a little in advance of where it came out on the first line, take up about an eighth of an inch of the material, draw the needle through, pass over to the opposite line, and repeat the stitch farther along, and so on from side to side. On the back of the material the effect is that of two rows of back stitch.

Overlapping Herring-bone (fig. 16) is worked on the same lines. A longer stitch is made each time ; the method of overlapping is explained by the diagram.

Satin Stitch (fig. 17). - This is apparently the most simple of stitches, but is really quite one of the hardest to do well; the edge must be so accurate, the stitches be made to lie so evenly, and the slope and its change of direction be so gradual, that it taxes at first the patience of the worker. However, once it has been mastered its charm is great, and few stitches equal it for severity. It shows to the best advantage the beauty of the silk and its gloss. The same amount of silk or crewel remains on both back and front of the work; it is, therefore, not the most economical stitch.

The sketch represents an ordinary kind of filling in which the stitches run parallel to each other. When the space to be covered is tapering in form and the stitches are to be directed towards the point, great care is needed in radiating the lines of the stitches. There is also a method of dove-tailing stitches, when several shades of silk have to be used for the petal of a flower - as in the rose here illustrated - or when rows of stitches are employed to suggest the overlapping of petals. It is also necessary to adopt this way of working if the surface to be covered with satin stitch is a large one.

Stitches 109

Rose in Satin Stitch. From a Silk Cover, Chinese.

Plate No. 60.

Figs. 18 and 19 both illustrate useful stitches for line work. These, with "snail-trail" (fig. 21), are referred to as "German Knot" and "Running Knot" by some workers. The sketches explain the working of each stitch.

Single Coral (fig. 18) with buttonhole each side makes a good narrow border.

Tied Coral (fig. 19). - Leave (A) rather loose, so that when (B) is pulled (A) makes a three-cornered knot.

Bead-edging or Braid Stitch (fig. 20). - This, like figs. 18 and 19, is worked almost entirely on the surface, the back in each case being very simple. When carried out in a thick twisted silk it is very rich and braid-like in appearance.

Snail-trail (fig. 21). - The same principle as single coral, only worked more on the slant.

Plate No. 60.

Stitches 110

Darning (fig. 21A). - Ordinary plain darning openly worked, as is here shown, is the easiest and most straightforward kind of diapering; and for the purpose of spacefilling, when a light effect is wanted, it is very valuable. Occasionally French knots are introduced between each row of stitches, and at times the darning is varied by using a long and a short stitch alternately. The lines of stitches can be taken in a vertical or horizontal direction, or at an angle, or effectively worked with the rows slightly radiating. When the stitches are carried across in the form of a net, little additions to the pattern are made by working a French knot in each square created by the crossing, or small stitches are taken diagonally across the corners of the network squares. Two examples of fancy darning are given on Plate No. 71, figs. 69 and 70. The best results are obtained when a fairly thin thread is used. If the work is to be executed on a very fine material, it is difficult to adopt the usual method of counting the threads for each stitch and space for these geometrical patterns. But it is well to count the threads when possible, or to keep the pattern regular by marking a few points for guidance in the stitching. See that the marks are only in places that will be covered by the stitches. The ingenious worker takes great pleasure in creating delicate diapers and dexterous fillings in darning, and finds still greater play for her taste in placing these patterns in their proper positions in her work. Contrast of texture and tone are all important in the balancing of a design.

Plate No. 61.

Stitches 111

Plate No. 61.

Cable Stitch (fig. 22). - The first stitch of all is to make a small link ; then, after twisting the needle under and over from the right side, insert it into the stuff in front of the large loop.

Cable Stitch with Knot (fig. 23), from the old Portuguese piece (Plate No. 33). - It is very like fig. 22, but with addition of the knot. The needle is placed, as at (B), under the left side of the loop, and also under the loose thread from the left side, and pulled tight, after which the ordinary large loop is made.

Fig. 24 is a stitch found in several old pieces of work in the Victoria and Albert Museum. It is useful when a band is wanted, which will cover well, and yet not be too solid. (A), (B), and (C) for the foundation only; (A) passes through the material, whilst (B) and (C) go under the thread only.