Stitch of the Week – Threaded Running Stitch

Threaded Running Stitch VariationsI had several comments earlier this month asking about the unusual stitch used in two of the bands on this year’s Easter SAL. It’s actually nothing more than a variation of the Threaded Running Stitch – a really common stitch.

Threaded running stitch is a composite stitch made up of evenly-spaced lines of running stitch that are then threaded with 2 or more additional colors of thread.

In the image above you will see four different variations of the stitch:
  • Line 1 – a single row of running stitch with single threading
  • Line 2 – a single row of running stitch with two threadings in two colors
  • Line 3 – a double row of running stitch, with two threadings in two colors
  • Line 4 – three staggered rows of running stitch with two threadings in two colors

NK_PointFirstIn these samples I’ve worked the stitch on Hardanger fabric as a counted stitch, just so it’s easy for you to see the stitches. However, with careful marking it can also be used for traditional (surface) embroidery.

It’s important to note that when working the threaded stitch, most folks tend to insert the needle under the running stitches point first, as shown here.

Here’s a little tip for you… it’s actually much easier to insert the needle eye first under the stitches.

NK_EyeFirstInserting the needle eye first under the stitches, as shown here, prevents the needle from splitting through the running stitch instead of traveling under it.

It also stops the needle from catching the fibers in the fabric or other stitches nearby while working the stitch.

If you’re worried about working from the business end of the needle, use a thimble to protect your fingers while working the threading.

Threaded Running Stitch is a wonderfully versatile stitch with limitless variations. Here’s an example, using row 4 (from the image at the top) as an example.

Staggered Threaded Running StitchAt the top, you will see that I have worked three rows of running stitch that have been staggered. I worked a single line of threading through the stitches. It looks really pretty as-is, and makes a light, fresh-looking band of stitches. In the middle area I’ve threaded a second line of stitching, which creates interesting oval motifs with a horizontal center stitch accent. It’s pretty too! At the bottom, I’ve run two more lines of threading, using the remaining open running stitches in a third color. The result is a more complex composite stitch.

That’s all there is to it!  Using the most basic stitch know to all in the stitching kingdom, you can create something very interesting.

For more information on this or other basic embroidery stitches, visit the Stitches Page.

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