Stitch Chat - Twisted Chain Stitch

I have been using Twisted Chain Stitch more and more lately - both for lines, but also as a filling stitch. 
It is a slight variation of the ordinary chain stitch. By twisting the thread for each stitch it forms a slightly  more narrow and raised line. 
What I love most about this Twisted Chain Stitch is the raised texture of the stitch, making it a nice contrast alongside smooth stitches, such as stem and satin stitch.

In my latest project The Little Mermaid, I used Twisted chain stitch for rows of rows of waves. The stitch itself is not difficult once you get into a rhythm to keep the direction of the twists consistent, but I did learn that this is one of the few stitches, where rotating your work, makes it near impossible to keep the twist and stitch direction the same. 
Being right handed, I tend to stitch from right to left, or from the top towards me. The important thing is to keep the twist of the stitches to the same side every time. 

Twisted Chain Stitch

1. Bring the thread to the front at the end of the line. Take needle to the back to one side of the emerging thread (here above).Add caption

2. Loop the thread around making sure it is crossing over itself. Bring the needle to the front on the marked line, inside the thread loop.

3. Pull the stitch to. This is a single twisted chin. It looks like a little fish, don't you think?

4. Take the needle to the back to one side of the twisted chain.
 This should be the same side as the first stitch (here above).

 5. Loop the thread around making sure it is crossing over itself as before.
      Bring the needle to the front on the marked line, inside the thread loop. 

6. Pull the second stitch to as before.
The stitches form a textured line. 
 The aim is to keep the twist and the the tension of    the stitches as consistent as possible. 

The interesting thing about Twisted Chain stitch is just how much the appearance of the stitches can change simply by altering the length of the stitch itself but also the width. 
The two photos below, show the very different look you get if the needle is taking to the back further out from the chain for example. Then it suddenly becomes spiky looking - ideal for prickly blackberry stems for instance.


I wonder how it would look if I stitched a second row in the opposite direction, so the 'spikes' fit into those of the first row???

Twisted Chain Stitch Filling
At first glance, Twisted Chain Stitch, is probably not one that you would pick as a filling stitch for a shape. I know, I didn't until a saw it done and is it beautiful for that purpose. 

The leaf to the right if a section of my Scarlet Glory crewel work design and the textured filling is Twisted Chain Stitch worked in wool. What I love about it, is the ridges it form across a shape.
To get a filling like on the leaf, all the rows must be stitched in the same direction.
  The first row is stitched like above

1. To start the next row, the first stitch should sit immediately next to the previous. 

2. Continue along the previous row, pushing the stitches close against the first row.
  You can stitch subsequent rows both above and below the first. The important thing is to work each row in the same direction and to align the stitches, to get the ridges across the shape the stitches.  

I hope you will have a bit of a play with this stitch. It is one that can easily be used instead of regular chain stitch to add a bit of texture to a piece. 
Have fun with it.

Stay Safe & Keep Stitching,
Anna X

PS - I am really not keen on the new way blogger works - aligning text and pictures is really difficult and I do apologize for rather messy look of this post.


  1. Thanks,Anna for the tutorial. The little mermaid is lovely

  2. Dear Anna, you've explained very well of how to do this sort of stitch, at least it's clear to me ;O)! Thank you for showing this tutorial!
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Hug, Ilona

  3. How perfect that I just started working on my Scarlet Glory this week! Thanks for the tutorial.


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