Sunday, 22 April 2018

Sunday Stitch School - Lesson 58: Twisted Shell Chain Stitch

If you have taken part in TAST (Take A Stitch Tuesday) you might recognize this stitch:

It is called Shell Chain, and as you can see each link contains a small Chain Stitch and a larger Open Chain Stitch.

When I was leafing through this book
I found a similar-looking stitch, but based on the Twisted Chain Stitch.

The author, Madam Totsuka,  has not given it a name, just refers to it as a combination of 'Chain Darning and Open Chain Stitch'. I guess Chain Darning is her way of saying Twisted Chain, and her Open Chain is rather triangular in shape.

Have you seen this stitch before, do you know its official name? If you do, let me know in the Comments below. For the time being I will call it 'Twisted Shell Chain Stitch'.

I think Twisted Shell Chain Stitch makes an interesting bulky line, and I can tell you that it is both easy and fun to stitch.

These pictures will show you how to stitch it:


  1. Aida sampler
  2. SSS Reference Chart
  3. Make a line around this rectangular linen cloth.


Rachel said...

I've never seen this one before, but yes, what a charming effect! And there is scope for variation, too, in the extent of the twist and the size of the open chain stitch...

Pamela said...

I like the twisted shell chain. I haven't seen it before so I don't know any other name. It looks so orderly.

Queeniepatch said...

I, too, think it has a charming look, and doesn't it look more complicated than it is? Is iS very easy!

Queeniepatch said...

it is fast and fun to do, and as there is no real knot, should one need to un-stitch, it is easily done.

Linda Calverley said...

I don't think I've used those chain stitches but I would like to try them. They look like they would be ideal for crazy patches.

FlashinScissors said...

I didn’t know these stitches before.
Your Twisted Chain Stitches look very pretty and decorative! Handy to know they are easily undone!
Barbara xx

Queeniepatch said...

Be sure it will find its way onto a cq patch!

Queeniepatch said...

Ha, ha! Yes, we should always value stitches that are easy to unstitch!

Janie said...

Madam Totsuka calls it a combination chain darning, open chain stitch.
I could see that stitch being used for darning, repairing/building up a
tear or hole.
And of course it has fun decorative possibilities too.

co coya said...

Interesting stitch ,and I will note that it behaves differently with different threads.

Queeniepatch said...

Madam Totsuka calls a lot of stitches 'darning' and I am sure she refers to the Darning Stitch (Running Stitch with long stitches). Why she should see a long-stitch Running Stitch in the Twisted Chain Stitch beats me. I wonder if any stitch with a LONG tail is seen as Darning Stitch in her eyes. I am sure she is not referring to darning in the sense of mending, but you are right, it could be used to fill up a torn piece of fabric.

Queeniepatch said...

That is the thing with many stitches - some need the support of the fibers in the thread to stay in place, other stitches benefit from a slippery thread.