Thursday, 7 March 2013

More on Twists

On the post for TAST stitch #55 Buttonholed Herringbone stitch, I discussed ways to control the twist in threads while stitching.

Since then there has been a lot of talk about this. I was reading the blog of Lins Arty Blobs and a comment made by Shirley, who points out that there is a way of twisting the Buttonholed Herringbone stitch on purpose. Shirley is quite right. In the excellent book A-Z of Embroidery there is a good illustration of how to do this. I thought I would show it here with my own pictures:

Work half the bar with Buttonhole stitches, keeping the thread pulled downwards, towards you.

Then change the direction of the thread and pull it upwards, away from you.

Continue to add Buttonhole stitches until you have filled the bar, pulling the thread upwards.

You have a beautiful twist made on purpose.

However, for beautiful Buttonhole garlands and any other stitch that has a tendency to twist, this is how I  roll the needle between my fingers while stitching:

The index finger is pulled to the right...

so the needle moves in a clockwise direction.

This is the movement for an S-twisted thread (most threads I would say). For threads with a Z-twist, roll the needle in the opposit direction, anti-clockwise.

(As you can see I often use these rubber tips to get a good grip of the needle, especially when I quilt or stitch 'tough' fabric. Not necessary for this photo shoot, but to lazy to take them off!!)

Happy rolling, happy twisting, happy stitching!


  1. thanks for these tips. I had a lot of problem with buttonholed herringbone, so your article is useful and welcome.

  2. Thank you Queenie for this very useful post :)
    Have a nice creative day,

  3. Queeny, thank you for this fantastic tip. I usually drop the needle down to untwirl the thread, but this method seems to be much better.
    Thanks for your wonderful comment with the tray - a good method - which I am using - when I think of it.

  4. Thank you for the wonderful explanation and pictures to go with!

  5. Your photos show the techniques well, I find it easier to follow pictures than text.

  6. glad I was not the only one to struggle with this stitch, tried it first with some rayon thread, never again!!, ended up with a very small sample with perle 5.

  7. Thank you so much for your explanations and pictures, Queenie! I found it useful to turn the needle to avoid twisting.

  8. Thanks Queenie...That rubber tip look very useful, need to find one for myself.

  9. Rolling the needle, that is what I do, without rubber tips.
    The twist, made on purpose, looks nice, like a wave.


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