Monday, March 5, 2012

Take a Stitch Tuesday - Couching Stitch - Week 9

This week for Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST), the featured stitch is the couching stitch.

This is one of the samples I did using the couching stitch.
The multi-color yarn is of varying widths.
It is hand-embroidered onto a piece of green, wool felt
using two strands of gold embroidery floss.

Victorian Embroidery and Crafts said that "Couching is an English corruption of the French word coucher, to lay. This form of embroidery is laid on the surface of the ground material instead of being sewed through."

On Wikipedia it says that, "Underside couching of metal thread was characteristic of earlier Opus Anglicanum in Medieval England and was also used historically in Sicily,....Italy, and France. Couching is also characteristic of Japanese metal-thread embroidery and Central Asian suzani work."

Wikipedia continued, "There is a strong tradition of couching stitch in Palestine. Production centered on Bethlehem and its two neighboring villages Beit Sahour and Beit Jalla [where it is] used for wedding dresses and formal wear."

This is another sampler I did using two types of yarns.
Each has its own unique texture and varying widths.
The background is hand-dyed wool felt.

There are several ways to do couching stitches. Here are some examples:


As I'm doing for the year-long Take a Stitch Tuesday project, I put the samples I did of the couching stitch (which I enjoyed doing!) in my embroidery journal.

There's a personal reflection about what happened during the past week, a list of things for which I am grateful, the name of the stitch I learned this week, and an image that I thought was pretty. Nature always inspires me...calms me...and provides insight that seems to be needed at the time. 

8 comments:

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Lovely needlework ~ so creative and magical ~ thanks for sharing ~ namaste, carol (A Creative Harbor)

Rita said...

Wow! These are both beautiful! I especially love the colorful spiral--wow! I keep saying it but this book you're making is going to be priceless!! :)

Kathy said...

Beautiful! I love the spiral.

mustardseed said...

those are stunning!!

Jo said...

wonderful stitching and I love your idea of putting it into an embroidery journal.

Carolyn Dube said...

This past weekend I thought about you and your Tuesday stitches. I learned how to do a few stitches and the french knot. The teacher mentioned couching but I didn't have a chance to practice it. Now I have your great photos and instructions to help me!

Anneliese said...

I love how you are doing your journal of stitches. What kind of paper/cardboard are you using?
I still did not decide what to do with the 52 samples....

Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Thank you for all the kind comments! I enjoyed learning the couching stitch - it's one of the favorite ones I've done so far.

Anneliese, you asked what kind of paper I'm using for the journal. When I started it, I looked for what I had on hand - a simple composition book. It has lined paper, and some of the first weeks I didn't cover the lines with other paper.

Around the third or fourth week I began covering the lined paper with background papers (e.g., images from magazines, copies of photos, covers of greeting cards, scrapbook paper).

On top of that, I put the embroidery samples, journal entry, and gratitude list. So, the pages are turning out rather thick.

In retrospect, I would use thicker, plain white paper that has a spiral binding or something that can expand a bit (rather than fixed binding like a composition notebook). It would also give a bit more space to work with which would be nice.