I can’t say this was a productive week embroidery wise. We had a very long weekend because of National day holidays. The climate is quite cool here. Eating out, watching old movies and just driving around. The days were well spent. It was hard to come near the computer. The SSS challenge is just the way it was last week.
Projects
Blue ikat tunic
The closed herringbone stitch in pink thread was completed on this border, while watching movies. I started with green thread, working the same closed herringbone as filling. The work is quite meditative I suppose.
WIPW156-blgreyikat-3
Since I have bought too many tunic fabrics, there is personal commitment to work on them. But these days, I feel a tiredness creeping in once in a while. Though there is happiness in designing and working the embroidery, most of my other work are set aside for another time. There is always one new tunic waiting to be designed. The UFOs are not even looked at. May be all these thoughts are because of moving towards the end of the year. Some important thinking, changing, organizing is required.

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The working of the stitch is on Queenie’s blog. After coming across this stitch many times over the years, there was never a thought, that this could be a stitch by itself. It looked like a filling or unfinished filling stitch. After seeing this on SSS challenge, I thought the braid stitch can be learnt later and started with this stitch sampler.
The sampler starts with individual Chinese cross stitches. Two crosses are worked together in the second sample. The crosses are worked continuously in a row in the third sample. It started with two rows of Chinese cross stitches in the fourth sample, but realized it has to be varied to get a flowing pattern.
SSS.32.chicrosst-1
The variation was made in the first sample in this part of the sampler. This will make nice filling pattern. Two rows of Chinese cross stitches are worked with space between them. This way other stitches can be incorporated along with this stitch to make a nice border. Upright Chinese crosses are worked in the third sample. The Chinese crosses and upright Chinese crosses are worked together to form a border in the fourth sample. Three Chinese crosses are used as border in the last sample.
SSS.32.chicrosst-2
Individual Chinese crosses and upright crosses are worked in the first sample. Two rows of upright crosses are worked in the second sample. Working the Chinese crosses in two colours are tried in the last two samples.
SSS.32.chicrosst-3
The completed sampler –
SSS.32. Chinese cross stitch sampler
This Chinese cross can be used for filling and border patterns. Easy to work stitch. This stitch can be used to add texture to otherwise plain fabric too, like Sashiko embroidery. Just pondering over some ideas.

This tunic was worked in 2013. The fabric is mangalagiri cotton. We call this colour as sandalwood colour. This fabric was fairly thin for it to be used for chikan work embroidery.
Though generally,  the chikan work embroidery being shadow work, the closed herringbone stitches are worked on the wrong side of the fabric. There are many exceptions to this.
I wanted to work closed herringbone stitches on both sides of the fabric.
The tunic.
sandal-chikan-tunic
The tailor had marked the sleeves and the front of the tunic. The yoke pattern
sanchik-yokepat
The yoke and the sleeve embroidery patterns were traced on to the fabric.
sanchik-sleevepat
The threads used were-
sanchik-threads
Starting with darkest colour, the closed herringbone stitches were worked.
sanchik-1
The next colour was also worked in the same manner.
sanchik-2
The third colour which was very light compared to the other two was worked on the right side of the fabric. This time it was fish bone stitch.
sanchik-3
Cream colour thread was used for outlines and french knots.
sanchik-yokedet
The sleeves were worked in the same manner.
sanchik-sleeve-det
The detail of the tunic.
sandal-chikan-tunic-det
Early 2013, my computer had some problem, and I lost most of the images of the details of the embroidery projects worked after june 2012. This kept me discouraged for quite some time. So there is a backlog of project details from 2013. I am hoping to post these whenever time permits.

This week’s stitch on Sunday Stitch School challenge is gate stitch. It is a canvas stitch which can be worked on even weave or plain weave too. I have worked the samples as fillings on canvas. The working of the stitch is explained here.
Details of the samples from left to right.
The first sample is the basic gate stitch without any space between the satin stitches. The second sample is worked with spaces between the satin stitches. Alternate blocks are worked in gate stitch in the third sample. The same idea is continued in the fourth sample with two threads.

SSS.7. gate st1

SSS.7. gate st1

The vertical and horizontal versions of gate stitch are worked in the first sample. The satin stitches are worked in one thread and the overlapping cross and straight stitches are worked with different thread in the second sample. The gate stitches are worked at two levels in the third sample. The crosses are worked smaller than the satin stitches in the last sample.

SSS.7.gate st-2

SSS.7.gate st-2

The crosses are worked at different levels. The wide and narrow version of gate stitches are tried in the first four samples. The satin stitches are extended on top [fence like] on the next four samples.

SSS.7.gate st-3

SSS.7.gate st-3

Satin stitches are worked in twos and threes and are alternated in these samples.

SSS.7.gatest-4

SSS.7.gatest-4

I used polyester thread for working most of the samples and had to use tapestry needle # 16. It was hard work pushing and pulling through the holes of the canvas. If cotton skein had been used on tapestry# 26, it would have been easier. Still it is nice and easy stitch to learn. The sampler-

SSS. 7. gate stitch sampler

SSS. 7. gate stitch sampler

Some more samples of barb stitch. This stitch was worked as tree motif in the first sample. The buttonhole stitches were worked in a pattern to achieve this. The second sample can be worked as a broad border and a filling. Every fifth whipping stitch is dropped in the third sample.

44.138.barb st-4

44.138.barb st-4

These samples are barb stitch on buttonhole stitch variations-1. Up and down buttonhole rows. 2. Closed and crossed buttonhole rows.3. Top knotted buttonhole rows.

44.138.barb st-5

44.138.barb st-5

The first sample is combined with double lock stitch, this sample looks like lace when worked with polyester thread. The barb stitch is combined with knotted buttonhole band in the last sample.

44.138.barb st-6

44.138.barb st-6

The sampler was completed today.

44.138.Barb stitch sampler

44.138.Barb stitch sampler

So many possibilities can be tried with this easy stitch

This week’s TAST stitch is an easy one. The tutorial for the stitch is on SharonB ‘s blog.
With the idea of exploring this as linear and filling stitch I started this sampler. In the second sample the buttonhole rows are worked apart, when the whipping stitch was pulled tight, it looks like the first sample.

44.138.barb st-1

44.138.barb st-1

Variations of this stitch as filling stitch.

44.138.barb st-2

44.138.barb st-2

In the first sample, the whipping is done on long and short buttonhole rows. Alternate spaces are whipped twice in the second sample. Another filling idea is tried in the third sample.

44.138.barb st-3

44.138.barb st-3

I was busy working on this piece today, last night another filling was worked in blue threads- polyester, stranded cotton, fine silk.

26.120.dhbonest-5

26.120.dhbonest-5

Started on the piece this morning-

26.120.dhbonest

26.120.dhbonest

This stitch was worked as linear outside the paisley shape. The variations are, one row is narrower than the other, one side was made wider, up right crosses were worked in the centre of this stitch row, detached chains [not clear] worked over this stitch.

26.120.dhbonest-6

26.120.dhbonest-6

The curves were worked in blue/pink variegated thread.

26.120.dhbonest-7

26.120.dhbonest-7

The paisley needed definition. Dark pink metallic thread was couched first with herringbone, seeing it was not very interesting, quitting it after some time, continued with couching stitch in the same colour stranded cotton. I felt better after working the outline.

26.120.double herringbone stitch sampler

26.120.double herringbone stitch sampler

The idea was- To design this paisley shape with doodles [zentangle] and fill the doodles with this stitch.
I am happy I started this design journey as a part of TAST, it seems to pull me out of my comfortable boundaries and surprisingly it is enjoyable too.