Today, Lisa Hawkes, SAGA President, takes us through the dynamics of using an embroidery stitch for smocking as you work on your Trees for Troops Smock-Along.
In the Trees for Troops Smock-Along, clue number two is stitching a row of the Cretan Stitch. The Cretan Stitch is an embroidery stitch originally from the island of Crete where it is used to decorate women’s skirts. It was adapted for smocking and gives lovely results. Below I will take you step by step through the Cretan Stitch.
Come up in the valley between the first and second pleats just beneath the cable stitch on row 7.
Insert your needle from the right to the left through the first pleat to get into starting position.
Move down to row 8 and over 1 pleat. Take a stitch on row 8, keeping your needle horizontal to the pleating thread.
Move back up to row 7 and take a stitch in the next pleat.
Continue across the row. That’s it – it is that simple! There are a few things to notice:
1. There are no level stitches in the Cretan Stitch.
2. Each stitch goes through a new pleat and each stitch only goes through one pleat.
3. On each stitch you alternate between rows.
4. You can make sure you are doing it correctly by using the cable row to guide you. Each Cretan stitch lines up with the same cable stitch. On row 7, the Cretan stitch lines up with the down cable of the cable stitch. On row 4, it lines up with the up cable of the cable stitch.
If you have questions, just ask on our facebook group page – I will be checking there. SAGA offers a wonderful correspondence course on the advance stitches if you would like to learn more about these and other smocking stitches. You can read about our courses under the education tab on our website.