stitch along part one A

I know I said I’d do this MOnday, but I’ve been full of cold and just didn’t have the energy.

IN the mean time Sue very kindly made a group for everyone on flickr

so you can post progress pics

I tend to outline in split stich, as I find this easier to do with work under tension – I have to work without a frame to do stem stitch.

I apologise if a few of these are a bit blurry, gareth normally takes my detail pics for me, and these looked ok until I blew them up. I will also refer you to my early post on stem stitch, as split and stem stitches are essentially the same stitch, its just that with split you split the stitch and with stem you push it to one side.

bring your needle up and make a small stitch about 4mm long (four or five threads of the wool canvas if you’re using a kit)


then go halfway back and bring the thread up through the stitch


Your next stitch will be about the same length as the first, but because half of it covers the first stitch, you will only advnace half the distance. When you come back to split the stitch it should be in roughly the same place the intial stitch ended.


and repeat ad infinitum. I’ve remembered why I always draw stitches for my handouts. The crucial part is that in order for the front of split stitch to look neat, the back of it should look like backstitch, without gaps



Many people are tempted to get theri split stitch done quicker by stretching the stitches out. By making the stitch a little bit longer and not going halfway back, perhaps maybe only a quarter instead.



split 7

and as you can see, this way scraggliness lies.

See how much I love you. I did appalingly bad stitching and took blurry photos of it. Its like the bad 70s porn of needlework.

Right, now we’ve got the basics out of the way (and seriously if needed I can re-post better pics at the weekend, just tell me) you can start outlining your dragon.

The dark outline stitches are shown on the second pdf in the first post. Some are worked over the laid and couched work, others go along the edges.

when working an edge be careful to use the same holes as the edges of the laid and couched work in order to get a neat edge


I’ve worked the eye as a negative space that lets the white canvas show through, but you can give him white irises if you wish. Working the eyeball can be challenging as small circles are difficult – you will need to make your stitches much smaller and tighter.


He’ll still look a little flat until you start filling in the white (pdf 3 I think)


There isn’t really a way to mark where the inner lines go. You just have to have confidence and trust yourself, it’s really no harder- and certainly a lot slower – than drawing the lines with a pencil, and most of these lines are really simple.image

~ by opusanglicanum on September 11, 2014.

12 Responses to “stitch along part one A”

  1. Poor Tanya! That’s probably a relative of the heavy cold Kevon and I both caught in London – you have my sympathy. Thanks for managing to finish the instructions, between snuffles. (Split stitch is a New Challenge for me – I hope I can get it neat enough.)
    It would be lovely if you could post a picture of your own dragon on the Flickr group when you can – I’d like to use it for the group icon, too.

    • I always think of split stitch as upside down backstitch- some people find that helps.

      I will try and work out how to join flickr this afternoon, I’m being left all alone cos he says I’m not well enough to go round the Harrogate flower show, he says I’ll just get tired and be all whiny and annoying ( add constantly cadging for a nice cream to that and it’s what I’m like at the flower show anyway)

      I want a nice cream now

  2. The idea of trying to write instructions with a heavy cold -horrible! Get well soon!

  3. Get well soon! It must be cold season in Europe, as I also got one, but it’s not so nasty.
    Thank you for the instructions on split stitch, the pictures are good enough for me to refresh my memory on how it’s done.
    And now I know what we need the fifth colour for. 🙂

    • Mines not too horrendous, it’s just that once I’ve worked I’m all wiped out. It doesn’t help that I’ve has two performances a day all week with a sore throat- voice can really take it out of you. I probably need to do an extra hour or two in the gym to boost my fitness.

  4. Thanks Tanya. You need a hot lemon and manuka honey drink from NZ. 🙂
    Your photos look fine, when I take my glasses off everything looks like that. I can do split stitch anyway and your written instructions more than make up for the photos. I need to get cracking with my needle, and you need to look after yourself and get well.

    • I buy manuka sometimes, Gareth makes a real performance of handing me my tea with ” extra placebos” he really goes that extra mile to irritate.

      I’m pretty blind without specs, but a lot of my embroidery is done without them at shows, people either come up to me and say” you must have really good eyesight” or ” you must have a lot of patience- both of which are the opposite of the truth( I sew because I’m a fidget). When I used to be group authenticity officer new members would come and say that they couldn’t possibly spend the day without specs, and I would always shut them up by proving that my eyesight was worse

  5. My goodness your work is stunning!

  6. Hello, by chance would you have a tracking number for my order? The post office is notorious for not delivering out so far in the woods where I live!
    Thank you

  7. […] That’s the dragon, there’s also a dragon part two […]

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