tips and tricks

How to Establish a Limet Grid (3)

Below are the instructions for Limet grids in shapes positioned on the bias.

A pattern embellishment in a symmetrical shape will look perfect only if it is symmetrically arranged.
Circles, ovals, and squares are point symmetric; they need an intersection of withdrawn-thread lines at their centers from which the pattern can radiate in all directions – it makes no difference if the shape lies on the straight of grain or on the bias.

Tulips, hearts, and some other shapes are axially symmetric; they need intersections of withdrawn-thread lines along the center axis from which the pattern can be established on both sides.

For all shapes other than circles, the center axis is marked first (best with a light pen line on the back of the fabric – thread withdrawal is also done from the back side).

In point-symmetric shapes, the center horizontal (or vertical) thread is now withdrawn.

Afterwards, to establish the center intersection of withdrawn-thread lines that meet the marked axis, the center vertical (or horizontal) thread is withdrawn.

For axially-symmetric shapes any thread that crosses the marked center axis is withdrawn; it makes no difference to begin with a horizontal or vertical thread.

In shapes with deep interior points (e.g., some tulips), it is possible – but not absolutely necessary – to begin withdrawing the threads directly below the interior point.

The next thread to be withdrawn is perpendicular to the first withdrawn-thread line; it intersects the first withdrawn-thread line at the marked line.

From the first two withdrawn-thread lines (vertical and horizontal), the Limet grid is established by alternately leaving 3 (or sometimes 4) and cutting 1.

So far, I have featured only one filling pattern that needs such a Limet grid:
No. 471

How to Establish a Limet Grid (2)

The first lesson on how to establish a Limet grid dealt with the basic knowledge needed for working Limet patterns on the straight of grain with an intersection of withdrawn-thread lines in the center or a withdrawn-thread line as the center axis. Now I will present the second installment of Limet grid basic knowledge.

As already mentioned, a pattern embellishment in a symmetrical shape will look perfect only if it is symmetrically arranged. In addition, different patterns need different grid preparation.

Below are the instructions for Limet grids needed for patterns on the straight of grain with a square in the center or a group of three threads as the center axis.

Circles, ovals, and squares are point symmetric; they need a square at their centers from which the pattern can radiate in all directions.

Tulips, hearts, and some other shapes are axially symmetric; they need a group of three threads as the center axis from which the pattern can be established on both sides.

For both shape types, the center vertical thread and the two adjacent threads remain, and the next threads (1 to the left and 1 to the right) are withdrawn first.

In point-symmetric shapes, the center horizontal thread and the two adjacent threads remain, and the next threads (1 above and 1 below) are now withdrawn to establish the center square.

For axially-symmetric shapes there are some decisions to make before commencing to withdraw the horizontal threads; it depends on how a pattern should be arranged. Usually it can begin with the fourth thread from the bottom.

In some shapes, where the pattern should match the top outline, it begins with the fourth thread from the top of a shape.

In shapes with deep interior points (e.g., hearts and some tulips), it is good to begin withdrawing the horizontal threads directly below the interior point,

or directly above the bottom interior point.

From the three just established withdrawn-thread lines (vertical and horizontal), the Limet grid is established by alternately leaving 3 (or sometimes 4) and cutting 1.

Below is a list of filling patterns (previously featured on this blog) that need this type of Limet grid.
No. 473
No. 472
No. 451
No. 449

How to Establish a Limet Grid (1)

Next months, some of my blog posts will feature filling patterns for Schwalm whitework. To eliminate the need to repeat information, I will first explain some basic knowledge.

A pattern embellishment in a symmetrical shape will look perfect only if it is symmetrically arranged. In addition, different patterns need different grid preparation.

Below are the instructions for Limet grids needed for patterns on the straight of grain with an intersection of withdrawn-thread lines in the center or a withdrawn-thread line as the center axis.

Circles, ovals, and squares are point symmetric; they need an intersection of withdrawn-thread lines at their centers from which the pattern can radiate in all directions.

Tulips, hearts, and some other shapes are axially symmetric; they need a withdrawn-thread line as the center axis from which the pattern can be established on both sides.

For both shape types, the center vertical thread is withdrawn first.

In point-symmetric shapes, the center horizontal thread is now withdrawn to establish the center intersection of withdrawn-thread lines.

For axially-symmetric shapes there are some decisions to make before commencing to withdraw the horizontal threads; it depends on how a pattern should be arranged. Usually it begins with the fourth thread from the bottom.

In some shapes, where the pattern should match the top outline, it begins with the fourth thread from the top of a shape.

In shapes with deep interior points (e.g., hearts and some tulips), it is good to begin withdrawing the horizontal threads directly below the interior point.

From the two just established withdrawn-thread lines (vertical and horizontal), the Limet grid is established by alternately leaving 3 (or sometimes 4) and cutting 1.

Below is a list of filling patterns (previously featured on this blog) that need this type of Limet grid.
No. 540
No. 480
No. 477
No. 476
No. 475
No. 474
No. 469
No. 450
No. 448
No. 447
No. 444

Turning a Corner with Plaited Insertion Stitch

In addition to being used for inserting lace or joining lengths of linen, the Plaited Insertion stitch can also be used as a decorative surface stitch. Out of curiosity I wanted to know how a corner might be turned when using this stitch.

I used a small mirror to create a right angle at different places. The above corner looks beautiful, but I cannot figure out a way to embroider it. Whereas I was able to embroider the corner below.


I stretched a piece of linen with 13.5 threads per cm in a hoop and withdrew two fabric threads eight threads apart for better orientation. Using coton à broder No. 16, I started to work some three-group stitches. I decided to not make stitch placement marks, choosing to place the stiches one fabric thread apart instead.


Arriving at an outside middle stitch, where the direction has to change, I decided to set the corner. At this point, I withdrew perpendicular fabric threads.


Instead of travelling to the right-hand point of the bottom line, I took the needle to the right-hand point of the outside line around the corner.


From there I worked in the established way, but always between the perpendicular outside lines.


To find the right order for plaiting, it is helpful to look at the previously established plait.


From the middle point the direction of the stitches has to change again.


Now the work continues between inner and outer lines.


I am not 100 percent satisfied with the result – the guide lines are a little bit distracting and the distances between the groupings are not quite even – but as a practice piece it is good enough to see that working a corner using the Plaited insertion stitch is possible.


And that was my goal.

Plaited Insertion stitch (Interlaced Insertion stitch) – how to work

I have never before worked this stitch. I looked for instructions but found only a few graphic presentations with short explanations and some images of finished stitches – no steps of working on a real needlework project. I decided to figure it out on my own. Here is the result.

Using any solid fabric as a stabilizer, it is best to first pin and then baste in place – at the desired distance – the two lengths of fabric to be joined. Make sure that the basting stitches are not too close to the edges.


Make marks in groups of three along both selvages – always alternating and staggering the marks.

For my first attempt, the selvages were placed 1 cm apart and the groups-of-three marks were spaced 0.5 cm apart staggered (the distance from the right to the opposite left mark is 0.5 cm.)


This is what I learned: All the distances were spaced too far apart and the thread was too thin. Working the stitches staggered too far apart makes the threads lie at too great an angle, and this in turn causes the thread at the plait to become jumbled together.

My second attempt – done, because I wanted to do a quick trial, without marking each insertion point – turned out much better. Using coton à broder No. 12, working the stitches closer together, and laying the threads to the opposite side so that they didn’t slant so much helped to establish a much better appearance. But the needle I used was too thin, and stitching through the selvage was difficult.


My third attempt – now using a thicker needle – turned out well. I could maintain a more even tension.


I was satisfied but wanted to perfect the appearance. The selvage on this particular linen was very strong, making it it very difficult to evenly insert the thick needle.

For the fourth attempt, I made the distance between the two selvages less wide and used coton à broder No. 16.
Please see the result, keeping in mind that it has been greatly enlarged.


Now I am ready to explain how to work the Plaited Insertion stitch.

I chose handwoven linen with 18 threads per cm; I made sure that the selvages were not too tightly woven.
I basted the two lengths of linen – 0.6 cm apart – to a solid fabric.

Both selvages are marked at 0.3 cm intervals (marks line up with the marks on the opposite selvage).


Between every other pair of marks, a third mark was made. The same was done on the opposite side but staggered. To clarify I added red lines to the third mark in the image below.


I used coton à broder No. 16 thread and a Chenille No. 24 needle.
The piece was stretched in a hoop.

Always insert the needle from the front side and bring it up on the back side of the fabric. Make sure that the support fabric is not caught with the needle.
Always bring the needle up to the left of the working thread.

The first four stitches are the set-up stitches – from the fifth stitch the entire pattern is worked.

Insert the needle on the middle mark on the bottom selvage. Pull the thread through.


Take the thread up and to the right, and insert the needle in the right-hand mark of the first group-of-three marks.


Cross over the working thread to the right, and insert the needle in the right-hand mark of the next group-of-three marks.


Pull the thread through, take the needle to the left, and cross under the laid thread.


Insert the needle in the middle-top mark.


Move to the bottom right, cross over the laid thread, and insert the needle on the middle mark.


Always from the middle mark, the needle travels up (or down) and to the right-hand mark of the next group-of-three marks.

Now the steps to be repeated commence.
*After inserting in the lower-middle mark, pull the thread through and weave over, under, and over the laid threads.


Insert the needle in the right-hand mark of the next group-of-three marks.


Pull the thread through, move back to the left and weave vice versa – under, over, under – the laid threads.


Insert the needle in the left-hand mark.


Pull the thread through and weave over, under, over to reach the middle mark on the opposite edge.


Insert the needle in the middle mark.


Pull the thread through and – moving to the right – weave over, under, over.


Insert the needle in the right-hand mark on the opposite edge.


Weave back under, over, under.


Insert the needle in the left-hand mark above.


Weave over, under, over.


Insert the needle in the middle mark below.* Always repeat the steps (*).


Beyond the first few stitches, where I had to always take breaks to shoot photos, the thread tension is correct.


And even with the stabilizing fabric still attached, the stitches look nice.


In the beginning it is a little bit fiddly, but after working about ten three-stitch groups, it gets more and more easy. And in the end, after you have internalized the sequence of weaving and where to insert the needle, it is a fun stitch to work.

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Luzine Happel
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Website: www.luzine-happel.de
E-Mail: leuchtbergverlag@aol.com

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