Found in both needlepoint and counted thread embroidery Rhodes stitch adds texture and a 3-dimensional effect to your needlework.
It is versatile and can be worked in any size and a variety of shapes. The stitch forms a bump in the center where the threads cross over each other. If you are using multiple Rhodes stitches in one project, it is best to start each grouping with the same stitch, so that the light catches them at the same angle.
Using variegated or hand-dyed fibres can also give a lovely effect.
The diagram below shows how to complete the basic stitch. When you finish the stitch numbered 17-18 just continue in the same manner until you reach the end. The diagram shows the stitch worked over 7 fabric threads but you can use any number.
By using different holes around the outside of the stitch, you can produce various shaped Rhodes. This heart is especially attractive.
Always start with the stitch numbered 1-2 so that the last stitch will be vertical.
The photograph below shows small Rhodes hearts in a border.
Other common variations include the rhodes diamond and half rhodes.
The two photos above show Rhodes diamonds from my needlepoint pattern, Hope..
The purple piece uses a rayon ribbon to give a solid, chunky appearance, whereas the pink version uses a fine metallic thread to add sparkle to the design.
This photo shows half rhodes stitch worked in two strands of floss. The open diamonds in between the stitches could be filled with tent stitch or cross stitches if desired.
You could also work offset rows of half rhodes so that they interlock forming an all over covering.
I hope this introduction has helped you see the versatility of the rhodes stitch.
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Blackwork for Beginners - learn this fascinating needlework technique with Carol Leather's book