Monday, February 20, 2012

Take a Stitch Tuesday - Detached Chain (Lazy Daisy) Stitch - Week 7

This week for Take a Stitch Tuesday (TAST), the featured stitch is the detached chain stitch (also known as the lazy daisy stitch).

Two-page entry in my embroidery journal.
Has two samples of the stitch, the name of the stitch,
a personal reflection, list of items for which I'm grateful, and
images from greeting cards and a poem.

It is named, as explained on Sarah's Hand Embroidery Tutorials, "...because the stitch can stand alone as a single loop unlike the other chain stitch family members that always link to each other. Since the loops can be used to create floral patterns that resemble a daisy flower, it may more often be called the 'lazy daisy.'"

No matter how hard I try, the stitches turn out uneven
and sloppy looking.
Truly, this is one of my least favorite stitches
because it looks like a two-year old did these stitches.

Since I have heard it most often referred to the lazy daisy stitch, that's how I'll refer to it from this point forward.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the lazy daisy stitch is "an embroidery stitch formed by an elongated loop held down at the free end by a small stitch."

Individual lazy daisy stitches in blue and yellow, with
the hearts outlined in purple, orange, and green
using the back stitch.

Victorian Embroidery and Crafts says that the lazy daisy stitch "...may be used singly to form a spot pattern over a large area or may be clustered together to make small flowers."

Detached Chain Stitch
a.k.a. Lazy Daisy Stitch

Since I've often seen the stitch used to create flowers, I was curious to learn a bit more about daisies. According to Wikipedia, "The Asteraceae or Compositae (commonly referred to as the aster, daisy, or sunflower family), is an exceedingly large and widespread family of vascular plants. 

"The group has more than 22,750 currently accepted species, spread across 1,620 genera and 12 subfamilies. Along with the Orchidaceae, this makes it one of the two largest flowering plant families in the world."

On a website that had facts about daisies, it said that "the word 'daisy' came from the Anglo Saxon words daes eage. The literal meaning of these words is 'day's eye'. It was so-called, as the daisies open at dawn."

It went on to say that daisies "...represent purity and innocence. Devoid of any sin or guilt, daisies are said to the perfect symbol of innocence .... Daisies capture the purity of mind, heart and soul, much better than any other flower. Hence, the daisies are also said to be the ultimate symbol of inner sanctity."

This is a poem called "Daisy Time" written by Marjorie Pickthall (1883-1922).

See, the grass is full of stars,
Fallen in their brightness;
Hearts they have of shining gold,
Rays of shining whiteness.

Buttercups have honeyed hearts,
Bees they love the clover,
But I love the daisies' dance
All the meadow over.

Blow, O blow, you happy winds,
Singing summer's praises,
Up the field and down the field
A-dancing with the daisies.

The Lazy Daisy name isn't just a description for an embroidery stitch. There's a Lazy Daisy Cake (the recipe was printed in Good Housekeeping). I'll end up trying that at some point and see what it tastes like.

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons margarine or butter
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 9" by 9" metal baking pan. On waxed paper, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

In small saucepan, heat 3/4 cup milk and 2 tablespoons margarine over low heat until margarine melts and milk is hot.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, with mixer at medium-high speed, beat eggs and granulated sugar until slightly thickened and pale yellow, about 5 minutes, scraping bowl often with rubber spatula. Beat in vanilla.

Transfer egg mixture to large bowl. With mixer at low speed, alternately add flour mixture and hot milk mixture to egg mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, just until smooth, occasionally scraping bowl. Pour into pan.

Bake cake 35 to 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Place pan with cake on wire rack while making topping. Preheat broiler.

In 2-quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, remaining 4 tablespoons margarine or butter, and remaining 2 tablespoons milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in pecans and coconut. Spoon topping over hot cake and spread to cover top of cake.

Place pan with cake in broiler 5 to 7 inches from source of heat, and broil 1 to 2 minutes, until topping is bubbly and browned, watching carefully and rotating pan as necessary for even browning. Cool completely on wire rack.


Charlotte Mason in the City said...

I also call the stitch lazy daisy, and I also find them difficult to make look good. I either pull too tight and the stitch looks like a straight line, or I make it too loose and the stitch looks sloppy or lop-sided. Ah...challenges!

I discovered your blog through the Take a Stitch Tuesday site. I'm behind with the weekly assignments, but I'm have a good time with the project. I've been enjoying reading your blog and thought I should tell you so.

Rita said...

That one does look harder! Very much so. How the heck would you keep them uniform? I had trouble with knitting because I couldn't keep the stitches loose enough. But when I went looser the stitches were all different sizes--LOL! I don't think I'd be very good at this one. :)

Let us know if you try the cake.

Gwen said...

Your embroidery is looking very good and thank you for the recipe....yum, yum:)

Carolyn Dube said...

Love your journal pages! What an amazing set of pages you are creating in it! Thanks for sharing the stitch.