Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Wheat-Ear Stitch Chat

I love it when I discover a favorite new stitch combination by chance.
This is what I suddenly found emerging in my hoop yesterday.


Isn't it pretty?
It is wheat-ear stitch with a French knot placed inside each chain part.
I have used Wheat-ear stitch many times before as a filling stitch for feathers, leaves and flower petals. I like it, because it is a little fuller and more decorative than fly and feather stitches.

Samples of Wheat-Ear stitch

It is also relatively quick to stitch. If you are not familiar with Wheat-ear stitch, this is how you do it:

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

Wheat-ear stitch 
is made up from a line of reverse chain stitches with little ‘ears’ added to each side of each stitch as you go.

1. Start with a stitch at the top of your line. You can vary the length of this stitch, depending on how you wish the top of your line to look - or place two stitches in a V shape.
Next, bring the thread to the front a little further along the line - this will determine the length of the chain part of the stitch.
Slide the eye-end of the needle under the stitch at the top without piercing the fabric.
NOTE: I always use the eye-end of the needle to slide under previous stitches to avoid splitting the existing stitches.

2. Take the needle to the back through the same hole as the emerging thread.

3. Bring the thread to the front a short distance from the chain stitch, near the top and take it to the back through the same hole at the base - this is the first 'ear'.
Repeat to the opposite side.

4. Emerge below the first chain and 'ears'. Slide the eye-end of the needle under the first chain and 'ears'.

5. Take the needle to the back through the same hole at the base and stitch the next set of ‘ears’ as before.

6. Continue down then line in this way, keeping the size of the chains as even as possible.

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

I was about the outline the shapes, when I suddenly wondered what it would look like if I somehow added a different colour inside the chains and that is how the pink French knots happened.

I just love these, and wanted to show you before I added more stitches.

So what exactly is it, you may wonder...

It is the beginning of a new little crewel piece. Very, Very Berry. 
I have had it stashed away, only just begun for longer than I like to admit. I am really happy with the design, but I had started the wing and could not stand looking at it...

... it looked ugly and lumpy. So before I could start, I had to do some serious 'reverse stitching' and get rid of all the knots.


So much better. Now I actually feel like stitching it. You can see all the little holes left in the linen by the knots. I am not too concerned about those, they will disappear once the piece is blocked.

After working with fine threads for the past many weeks, it is lovely to be back to some crewelwork, with woolen yarns that fill the work quickly.

I am not sure I will get much more done on this for next few days. I am heading off for a weekend workshop in Pt Pirie, north of Adelaide on the weekend and am looking forward to getting Out & About to meet up with new and old stitching friends. Besides, today feels like spring has finally sprung in Adelaide, so I might just need to get out and get my hands dirty in the garden... bliss.

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week and have a fabulous weekend.
Best Stitches,
Anna X 


  1. You have brought back memories of my mother teaching me this stitch when I was a little girl . It is a very pretty stitch and I love how you have used it .Yes now go play in your lovely garden is early Autumn here in the u.k. :)

    1. Isn't it just so nice when little things like bring back nice memories?

  2. Yout new combination looks so pretty! I love it. And the combination of colours too. :)
    Thank you for the tip!

    1. I love it when the 'I wonder what happens if...?' turns up surprises like this. I am glad you like it.

  3. That is a very pretty stitch combination! "Reverse stitching" all those knots cannot have been easy, but I agree it looks better, and I'm glad you will now be able to work on the project!

  4. snip, snip, snip... It wasn't too bad and I only cut one other wee thread to fix :-)