Today we are looking at a stitch used by many of the women settlers who travelled West into unknown areas of North America.
The pioneers had with them very limited supplies. Worn clothing was cut apart to make patchwork quilts. It was harder to find thread. Sometimes fabric was painstakingly taken apart and separated into threads. Naturally this 'thread' was not very strong.
However, 'thread' could be found amongst the supplies needed for the annual chore of candle making. The 'wax' used was either tallow, fat from animals collected at slaughter, or sheets of beeswax. The core of the candle, the wick, is a four stranded thread.
The colonial women found that wick made excellent thread for embroidery and quilting. The four strands could be separated and thereby supply the women with enough thread for various quilting or needlework projects.
Sheets, pillow cases and bedspreads in white cotton were decorated with embroidery in Stem and Outline Stitch, Padded Satin Stitch and French Knots.
A new form of knot was created, as it supposedly requires less thread, the Colonial Knot.
Together these stitches form the embroidery style Candlewicking.
Here are some links to interesting reading about candle making and candlewicking.
Today's stitch is the Colonial Knot, also known as Figure 8 Knot.
French name: point de nœud colonial
Work it like this:
Get out a Milliners needle and a thread with a firm twist, here I used perle #8.
Tighten the tension.
Place the working thread over the needle like in the picture.
Cross the thread over
and under the needle.
Insert the needle close to where it came out.
Tighten the knot and pull the needle through the fabric
Make dotted patterns with the knots.
Here is a line on my Aida sampler
1) Add a sprinkling of Colonial Knots
2) Dig out previous work and show on Friday.