Working on my embroidery last weekend, I wanted to fill a shape with little nubbins of stitch, but didn’t want to use french knots—a bit too small.
I started working the circles in satin stitch, but found that not only were they disappointingly flat (I could have padded, I know), but the horizontal tension squeezed the circle, making it a bit oval or egg shaped. Not a big deal, of course, but at some point I started to play with my stitching, to see if I could come up with something better.
I thought of something I’d used a few months back: Rhodes stitch. This square-shaped filling stitch has a raised center, a little like a faceted stud, and is rarely used in crewel embroidery because it is described as a needlepoint and counted-thread stitch…for working on canvas or similar meshy fabrics. Don’t see why one can’t freehand a canvaswork stitch onto finer fabric—they’re essentially the same thing, after all, so I went crazy and used Rhodes stitch along with satin stitch to fill this part of the same embroidery, pictured above.
I reasoned that I could use the same technique to work circular studs, so I started doing that on my embroidery. And holy crap, I love the results! Because the stitches rotate around the shape, the tension pulls the circumference in evenly, keeping the circle shape very nicely. But what I love most of all about this adapted rhodes stitch is the way it forms a raised center in the circle, making a really pronounced little nubbin, very much like a split pea or lentil.
So I’ve decided to call my little “discovery” Lentil Stitch…at least until somebody *gently, gently! I’m attached to it, you know…* points out to me that this is a common and widespread stitch, and that it’s name is ________. If you know this stitch, please tell me what it’s called and where you’ve seen it.
Otherwise, “Please, please Mom, can I keep Lentil?” 😉
UPDATE: You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Looking back I realize how silly it would be for such a simple and obvious stitch not to exist. Hahaha, a right and silly goose, I am. Julie THompson, over on Stitchin’ Fingers, has very gently and…almost motherly…informed me that this is called the Circular Rhodes Stitch (duh, someone didn’t do a proper search of the internet before she claimed discovery!) and it is worked on plain fabric, not canvas.
Back to the drawing board! (I mean the embroidery hoop.)
- Embroidery : : keep it clean! (smallestforest.net)
- Embroidery: the tear-away transfer method (smallestforest.net)
- The Joker (enbrouderie.com)