Stitchalong 2

I’ll try this again. WordPress wiped my last attempt, not sure how or why. So I’m late because Friday night I was busy reloading the van for work on Saturday.

because this is image heavy I’m going to do hands today and face in a week or two

but I’ll begin with a quick split stitch recap


Make a simple stitch about three or four millimetres long.


Then come back up about halway through that stitch. Because each stitch begins in the middle of the previous stitch you will only progress about half a stitch length with each stitch. It’s important to keep your stitches short and begin ( split) each stitch at the point where the previous stitch went in.


The top row shows the back, then the front of split stitch done properly- note how the reverse looks like a conventional backstitch, and how the front is a smooth line.

the lower image is What Not To DO. It’s very tempting to stretch split stitch out and leave long gaps at the back, but as you can see this gives a straggly appearance that  makes a poor outline and an even worse filling stitch.

We will begin with her spindle hand.


Begin at the tip of her thumb and work around the hand, making a “C” shape round to the tip of her pointy finger,


The direction of stitch is very important. If you work back and forth you will give her skin a rough texture, instead you want the rows of stitch to all flow in one direction, so bring the needle back out at the tip of her thumb and work back to the tip of the index finger.

note that I’ve brought my needle out through the first stitch of the thumb rather than beginning a new row in dependant of the first. Split stitch always looks better if the beginnings and ends of rows split another row – and in this case it will bring her finger ends to a natural point.


Work as many rows in the same direction as you feel you need ( I did three) before filing in the span of the hand. When filling in that wierd little triangle of flesh make sure to begin and end each row through an existing stitch so that they blend.


Next work the individual fingers. Work out from the palm to the tip of the fingers with each row, tucking the ends into one stitch. However, so that the index finger remains distinct, don’t blend the finger stitches that tuck under it, begin new rows here.


Finally delineate the features with a darker thread.

her other hand follows much the same pattern, although you may find you have to work over the staff a little


Start by working the ball of the thumb round in a spiral


Then move on to the fingers, starting again with the index


I have to admit I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with this hand. I think the artist in the manuscript has got the fingers tangled up somehow, but I stayed faithful to the tangle – feel free to rearrange them if the deformity bothers your OCD tendencies.


Finish again with an outline. Try not to overdo it, it’s best to have a light touch.



~ by opusanglicanum on November 8, 2015.

6 Responses to “Stitchalong 2”

  1. The ‘spindle hand’ is really impressive as it comes to life in these photos.

  2. It would be interesting to have a go at handling a distaff and see whether in fact the hand makes sense as it is…
    Yet another skill on my To Learn list…

  3. I agree that you’ve done a fantastic job, showing how to bring these hands alive. It’s funny, though, how hard it is to work out what position hands are in when going about various tasks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: