Today I finally got to try detached buttonhole stitch using Gilt Sylke Twist and my new Japanese needle! Finally, I hear you ask? Aren’t you on vacation this week? Yes… However, vacation weeks are sometimes for catching up and, like many of us I suspect, I couldn’t sit down to stitch until a few things were crossed off my list. Now the list is shorter and I’ve had the best hour stitching I’ve had in a long time!
Firstly, Gilt Sylke Twist is not nearly as difficult or tricky to stitch with as I’d thought. I was prepared for the thread to bend, break, get tangled and snarled and generally be a right old pain. But it wasn’t. Not even a little. Yes, I had to stitch slowly and carefully. I also followed the tips from a reader, Mary Martin, and paid attention to the direction I pulled the thread off the spool and I twisted it a little bit as I was pulling it through. The thread didn’t break or tangle once!
The Japanese needle helped enormously. The smooth, round hole for the thread keeps it from breaking. It is a tiny needle but that didn’t bother me and I’ve been doing crewel work for the last 4 or 5 days.
Detached buttonhole stitch is new to me, so learning that in addition to working with the new thread and needle made this a pretty exciting hour. The shape is first outlined with chain stitch. This provides the framework for the detached buttonhole stitch.
Each row of buttonhole stitches is anchored on this frame work using a single, long straight stitch in combination with the loops of a previous row of buttonhole stitches.
After the long stitch is in place, the needle comes back up through the fabric and then travels through the loop of the first buttonhole stitch in the previous row and under the long straight stitch. Your stitching creates a little piece of crochet or lace-like fabric.
Here’s the petal half-finished when the thread ran out. You can see how the loops are stitched together to make a sort of ‘fabric’. The wire in the Gilt Sylke Twist gives the lace-like fabric body and strength.
When I was half way through, it looked a bit like an upside down basket. I slid the top of my laying tool under what I’d stitched to show you how the stitches create a little pocket against the fabric.
This is my first petal and it was stitched on a little piece of test fabric. The tension isn’t as even as I’d like across the whole shape. In the bottom left corner you can see that the stitches are a bit closer together. That can be remedied in one of two ways: me being more consistent with each stitch and/or slightly pushing each loop apart with my laying tool to open them up. That’s the great thing about this thread – the wire helps it keep it’s position.
It was a bit like magic watching the loops connect to create this lacy fabric. For any of you who haven’t tried it because you – like me! – thought it was too difficult or tricky – give it a go! I just love learning something new and feeling like I’m on my way to mastering a new skill!