Thursday, 6 February 2014

TAST #97 Shell Chain Stitch

TAST stitch # 97 is called Shell Chain Stitch, and Sharon B of Pintangle, who is running the TAST stitch challenge, says she found it in Edith John's Creative Stitches (p.43).
It is a book I am not familiar with, but the photographs that Sharon has taken of her own stitches and posted on her blog show clearly how this stitch is worked. 

Now if I only could pay attention! You see, I've done it again - looked at Sharon's instructions too casually. They made me think of my collection of Totsuka's Embroidery Stitch Books:
where Book No 3 in the series is full of chain stitch variations. Sure enough I found the 'Shell Chain', although it is simply called 'alternating chain and open chain stitch'. (Note also that almost all Totsuka stitches are worked away from you, which I find difficult, and I usually turn the books upside down to follow the illustrations).
Anyway, I grabbed my needle and thread and made these two rows,
only to realise that they are NOT the TAST stitch Sharon had given us!

I was so upset that I decided to keep them on my sampler just as a good reminder to do a proper job in the future! The Shell Chain Stitch should look like these:
Sorry Miss B,  for not paying attention in class. Will I get detention? Or worse, be expelled?

22 comments:

  1. LOL great sample - You will never be expelled - or even put in the corner! But now I have seen that other shell chain stitch and its called something else - I will be going through all my books trying to find it!

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  2. I went looking and Edith Johns in Creative Embroidery stitches lists something similar - but not the same - as the extra arm emerges from the chain rather than below the chain as "pretty chain" I might add Johns version to TAST and see if a beaded version can be developed as I think it could be lovely - I still feel I have seen this version too however so will keep looking

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    1. Are you familiar with Sadako Totsuka and her books? She is famous for combining stitches and inventing new ones. I read somewhere that she has been stitching for over 50 years and still thinks there is no end to what can be done. I think she is right and I am very happy to be learning new embroidery tricks for many years to come.

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  3. good stitches here Queenie and no you are rewarded for adding your own stitches. The book you have shared with us is very clear.

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    1. Yes, the illustrations of Japanese books, and Totsuka Embroidery ones especially are very clear.

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  4. A nice stitch and I am sure that you won't be put in the naughty corner!

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    1. I like the 'real Shell chain better than the 'mistake' but both are nice. Sharon has promised not to send me home with a note for Mum! Phew!

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  5. I like both. I am terrible for not paying attention properly, I'd be forever in the naughty corner.

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    1. But your 'disobedience' results in fantastic creations. Mine was just a 'didn't look carefully enough' mistake.

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  6. Ha ha, you follow stitch instructions the way I read a map if I'm travelling south i.e. Upside down!

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  7. Beautiful even stitches, and I love the colors in the threads.

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    1. The thread is hand dyed and from Stef Francis, who sells fantastic things:http://www.stef-francis.co.uk/ Go, have a look.

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  8. We need a link to be able to buy copies of Sadako Totsuka's books, they look really interesting. Can you get them through Amazon Japan? I love ALL your stitches.

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    1. I have sent you an email with a bit of info.

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  9. I like both variations. I think the first one works very well switching the open chain from left to right.

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    1. You are right, and it would make a beautiful plant.

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  10. I had to come back to your post - have been here before but no time to comment. Now, you nearly landed in the naughty corner - but our very tolerant teacher even applauded you you. We are in such good hands. I also like better the closed shell chain stitch - however the open version is interesting and can be used for as you say plants and stems with thorns. And thank you for looking at mine......

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    1. In a sense Iike both the real Shell Stitch and the Totsuka version I found in the book. The lessen I learned was that I need to PAY ATTENTION. Yes, we have a good teacher, I have yet to try to Eastern Stitch.

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