I hope you are ready to get started! Here is some background information and then I will have step by step photos of Clue #1.
Background: We pleated 11 rows. Rows 1 and 11 are holding rows. We will be smocking rows 2-10. You may have pleated ½ space rows, but those are not included in the count, so as you are reading the directions, DO NOT count those rows. Your ornament is going to be symmetrical, so to the extent that affects your color choice, you now know.
Left-handed Smockers – since the ornament is symmetrical, you can just start on the right hand side of the fabric and follow the directions as written. Leave as is or turn your ornament over when you are finished.
Strip your floss: I have cut an 18 inch piece of floss and have separated the individual strands. I am smocking with 3 strands. You can use more or less strands depending on your thread choice.
Insert your three strands of floss in your needle – mine is a number 7 Darner – and smooth your floss. I do this by using a piece of felt that I wet with water and wring out. It straightens out my floss so I get a nice smooth stitch. Knot your thread. I wouldn’t do this with metallic threads.
Needle coming up in the center of the valley between pleats one and two and just below the pleating thread on Row 4
Clue number 1 is to start on Row 4, with an up cable and cable across the row. I am coming up in the valley between Pleats 1 and 2, just below the pleating thread of Row 4. I want to hide my knot and get into the correct starting position.
Here is a second picture of where I came up to get started.
Needle going from right to left to get into position to start the first stitch.
To get in the correct position for my first stitch, I insert my needle through the first pleat from right to left, again just below the pleating thread. Now my needle is at the correct depth to take my first stitch.
Up cable needle is horizontal and the thread is above the needle.
Keeping the needle horizontal, and the working thread above the needle, stitch through the second pleat, again just below that pleating thread and gently pull the thread taught.
Down cable needle is horizontal and the thread is below the needle.
Again keeping the needle horizontal, but the working thread below the needle this time, take a stitch through the next pleat.
Continue to cable all the way across Row 4, just below that pleating thread, alternating up and down cable stitches. You should end with a down cable if you didn’t skip any pleats, or stitch any pleat twice.
On Row 8, we are stitching a mirror image of Row 4. Begin just as you did on Row 4, but instead keep your working thread below the needle and start by stitching a down cable. As you stitch, this time keep your stitches just ABOVE the pleating thread. You should end with an up cable. HINT: as you are smocking your mirror image row, keep checking Row 4 above, the stitches should be lining up with each other. This will let you know if you skip a pleat, or stitch one twice.
See you next week with the next clue. Happy Smocking!