Melinda Sherbring aka Eowyn Amberdrake (within the SCA) has developed a Sampler in order to teach various Metal Thread stitches from the Elizabethan period. The Sampler has been yet to published with the first audience being within SCA. Melinda is considering further publication, possibly self-publication, for a general audience.
I am honoured to have been asked by her to test the left handed version of the stitch instructions and to provide general feedback.
I can’t show her stitch instructions here, but I can show you my finished work, and comment on my own thoughts and discoveries as I work through the stitches. Melinda has also found publicly published photographs of some of the stitches that I can show you.
The stitch list is as follows :
Plaited Braid Stitch Variations
- Long Right
- Long Left
- With a Twist
Ladder and Ceylon Stitches
- Ladder Stitch
- Silk Pair-Wrapped Ladder Stitch
- Pair Wrapped Ladder Stitch
- ZigZag Wrapped Ladder Stitch
- Chained Ladder Stitch
- Ceylon Stitch
- Elizabethan Ladder Braid Stitch
- Corded Lark’s Head Filling
- Purl Chain
- Double Pekinese Stitch
Chain Stitch Variations
- Chain Stitch and Reverse Chain Stitch
- Interlaced Chain Stitch
- Elizabethan Double Vandyke Stitch
- Heavy Chain Stitch
- Long Armed Cross Chain Stitch
- Threaded Double Back Stitch
Van Dyke and Pekinese Variations
- Twisted Chain Stitch
- Vandyke Stitch
- Pekinese Stitch over Couched Thread
- Bundle Couched Guilloche
- Double Pekinese Stitch with silk edging
- Pekinese Stitch, Skip 3
- Maltese Cross
This list will be expanded in the future.
The Sampler can be done as a single piece or in a notebook format. I’m choosing to do the notebook format to give me room to record my experiments with each stitch.
Melinda recommends working in either Benton&Johnson #371 or #4 Passing thread. I’m working in B&J 371.
I have already worked my way through most of Jane Zimmerman’s “The Art of Elizabethan Embroidery”. The list of stitches in that book are listed here in a blog entry that I wrote a couple of years ago.
I have already “done” Plaited Braid Stitch.
Yes! I can now do Plaited Braid Stitch, thanks to Melinda’s instructions :-). I have 2 pages of notes that are all ready to write up and have completed my ‘page’ of stitching. I must also thank Kimberley Mitchell for some additional tips in working the stitch. I am *not* going to get into the “which diagram works” issue, but address practical issues such as which are suitable threads to use, how to work the stitch over curves and getting the thread tension correct.
So this post serves as an introduction to a series of postings about these stitches that will extend over the next few months.
I will be alternating working on the Sampler and on my Heart of the Thistle project and hope to complete the Sampler Stitches before my kits for the Thistle Thread Casket course arrive.