Straight Gobelin Stitch
Straight Gobelin stitch is useful for filling large areas, for borders and for all manner of patterns. Straight Gobelin stitch is one of the few surviving stitches from the Middle Ages. It takes its name from its resemblance to woven tapestries. The famous French factory at Gobelins, founded in 1450. Straight Gobelin stitch is one of the best-known of the straight stitches.
Straight stitches, in general, are useful for pictorial work (although tent stitch is the most popular). They are quick because they can cover several threads at once, and they do not distort the canvas too much. Straight Gobelin stitches are all worked to the same vertical length in horizontal rows. They can be worked over any number of threads, but two, four, and six are the most usual. For, however, practice the stitch over just two threads, as this is used in the next project.
Encroaching straight Gobelin stitch is worked similarly but produces a different pattern because its rows overlap.
Straight Gobelin Stitch
• Starting at upper right, bring the needle out, and insert it, bring it out. Continue in this way at the end of row reverse direction. Work back along the row from left to right, sharing holes in the previous row.
Encroaching Straight Gobelin Stitch
• Work the first row as before but work the second row so tops are one horizontal thread above bases of the previous row, and the stitches are consistently one thread to left or right of the previous row.
Byzantine Stitch Boxes
This stitch sounds complicated yet is quick and easy. It makes an attractive background filling stitch.
This stitch is a combination of continental tent stitch (see pages 14-15) and a bold diagonal stitch known as Byzantine stitch. Its name derives from the uniformly stepped zigzag pattern which was used in the art and textiles of the Byzantine Empire. Byzantine artists excelled at mosaic works, and a mosaic effect is apparent in this stitch, with its contrast between the long, slanting Byzantine stitches and the short tent stitches. Byzan¬tine boxes are worked by first making the stepped outline of the boxes using tent stitch, then working Byzantine stitch between them and finally filling in the boxes with diagonal stitches.
1. Make two diagonal stepped lines of continental tent stitch, working five stitches for each step (counting pivotal stitch twice). Now work Byzantine stitch and over three intersections within tent stitch lines; alternate five horizontal and five vertical stitches (counting pivotal stitch twice) to form steps. Bring the needle out, insert it, bring it out, and so on.
2. Fill in the small boxes with diagonal stitches sloping in opposite direction to Byzantine stitches and covering one, then two, then three, then two, and finally one canvas intersection.