The Rose Stitch

The Rose stitch is one of the basic stitches of Schwalm whitework. It is worked in both Limet patterns and openwork patterns. Using Rose stitches only, one can create many beautiful filling
patterns. In combination with other stitches, the variety of patterns is nearly infinite.

I have learned that many Schwalm students find it difficult to understand the right course of the stitch. So, in this post I will explain how to work the Rose stitch in detailed instructions and with an introduction.

One Rose stitch is established by working 4 Blanket stitches—all loops originate from the same point, and the “legs” placed in four directions (like a cross).

To learn the basic principles of the Rose stitch, it is a good idea to practice how to make the Blanket stitch. Take a piece of coarse (low thread count) evenweave fabric and make a Limet grid by withdrawing 1 thread and leaving 3—both horizontally and vertically. Using a coloured thread, practice making some Blanket stitches:Roenstich_1Somewhere in the left area of the grid, bring the needle up in any intersection of withdrawn thread lines.
Rosenstich_2Loop the thread down and to the right,
Rosenstich_3insert the needle one fabric thread to the right of where the needle was first brought up, and crossing under 3 fabric threads, bring the needle to the front. The thread that was looped down and to the right should now be under the tip of the needle.
Rosenstich_4Pull the needle and thread in the direction of the stitch and tighten it.
Rosenstich_5In the same way, work one more Blanket stitch at a distance of 1 fabric thread to the right.
Rosenstich_6Work as many Blanket stitches as you need to feel comfortable working these stitches. End in a place where a vertical fabric thread was withdrawn.
Rosenstich_7Turn your work 90° counterclockwise and work one more Blanket stitch in the established way.
Rosenstich_8Pull the needle and thread in the direction of the stitch.
Rosenstich_9Again turn your work 90° counterclockwise and work a third Blanket stitch in the same way.
Rosenstich_10The loops of the last 3 stitches of the Rose stitch originate from the same point. I cannot show the fourth stitch in this example. But I hope that this introduction helps you to better understand how the Rose stitch is worked.

So that it is not too confusing, the following instructions show how to work the Rose stitch without turning the fabric.
Rosenstich_11The working thread is anchored from the bottom of the Rose stitch. Bring the needle up (point where the needle emerges = center of the stitch), loop the thread up and to the left, cross over one square (three threads) to the left, insert the needle and bring it up in the center again. Tighten thread.
Rosenstich_12Loop the thread to the right and up, cross over one square (three threads) up, insert the needle and bring it up in the center hole again. Notice that the looped thread is beneath the needle. Tighten thread.
Rosenstich_13Loop the thread to the bottom and right, cross over one square (three threads) to the right, insert the needle and bring it up in the center again with the thread beneath the needle. Tighten thread.
Rosenstich_14Loop the thread to the left and down, cross over one square at the bottom, insert the needle and bring it up in the center again with the looped thread beneath the needle. Tighten thread.
Rosenstich_15After working the fourth stitch, the working thread comes up to the right of the fourth stitch. Cross over the fourth stitch to the left and insert the needle at the bottom of the center hole.
Rosenstich_16Bring the needle up in the next center, one square (three threads) to the right of the top stitch of the Rose stitch just worked. (Each hole of the longitudinal axis is a center of a Rose stitch.)
Rosenstich_17Start working with the first step of the Rose stitch again.
Rosenstich_18In this way, one by one, the Rose stitch is worked in diagonal rows.

1 Comment
  1. Thank you so much! Wonderfully clear instructions, beautiful illustrations.

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