Getting Started on Silk Gauze
Stitching on silk gauze is easier than you think! Once you are set with your lighting and any needed magnification (and you may have to experiment a bit to find the best set up for you), the actual stitching is simple. This tutorial will review a few key points before moving on to specific stitches.
In the illustrations you see here, I’m using plastic canvas, yarn and a large needle. It’s much easier to see for demonstration purposes - but the steps are exactly the same and I will reference ‘gauze’ and ‘floss’ throughout.
You will need your prepared silk gauze, mounted as shown in the “Preparing Silk Gauze for Stitching” tutorial. Remember, you can support your work in a hoop, Q-snap or frame - whichever is your preference.
At the bottom of the page, click on a photo gallery for larger images.
Starting and Stopping
I like to begin by leaving a short tail of thread on the back side when I bring my needle up through the gauze. Anchor it in place with an ‘away-waste-knot’ or your finger underneath until you have secured it with your first few stitches.
For subsequent starts, you can anchor your thread in existing stitches.
To end a thread, simply weave it back into your stitches with your needle - just as you would with your cross stitching.
Stitch the design elements first, and I typically use the continental stitch almost exclusively.
When moving from motif to motif, one space on the chart = one thread of the mesh between stitches. In this photo, the two vertical rows of mesh between the blocks of stitching would be the same as two spaces or squares on the chart.
Many motifs can be outlined first - then filled in. In this example, I counted and stitched the green outline first, and then filled in the heart shape with basketweave stitches - no additional counting necessary!
I especially like to do this with larger motifs - it prevents a striped appearance to the motif and minimizes counting on the fine gauze mesh.
Because of the small stitches, take care as you work. If you do make an error, check first to see if your mistake really matters. It’s better to check your work frequently as you go versus picking out those tiny stitches.
Stitching on silk gauze might at first seem a bit daunting but once you practice a bit and get into a rhythm, you will find yourself enjoying the process. And you get such a lovely finished result – crisp detail and intense colors that are more difficult to get with traditional cross stitching.
Getting Started on Silk Gauze, Copyright 2020. Original counted thread designs by Linda Stolz for Erica Michaels Designs.