Split decision? Choose how to use Split Stitch

Split stitch is often used to outline an area before filling it with satin stitch, to give a neat edge, but why stop there?

Would it surprise you to learn that I used it for most of this floral design? I added stem stitch for the dark green stems, 3 french knots, and 3 straight stitches.

It works well as a line stitch, but as this project illustrates, it also makes a good filling stitch. Let's look in more detail at how I used it in this design...

Split stitch floral designTulips worked in split stitch, stem stitch and french knots
  1. Lines in 2 strands mid-green floss for the open  
  2. Lines in 1 strand mid green mixed with 1 strand light green 
  3. Close rows using 2 strands of light green to fill this, and the other solid leaf 
  4. Two different shades of green used together to fill
  5. Yellow, orange, then red floss used in short, staggered rows to give a shaded effect to the tulips

   

   

For sections 2 and 4, I threaded the needle with two different shades of floss. However, I used a slightly different technique for each. For the outlined leaf I kept the lighter color on the same side for every stitch. When stitching the solid leaf, I let them randomly change sides to give a more variegated effect.

embroidered acornAcorn worked in split stitch and coral knots

This little acorn also uses split stitch, for the nut itself. Rows of textured coral stitch make up the cup and stalk which adds contrast. 

I used 2 strands of floss for the acorn and 3 for the cup.

How to work Split Stitch

I prefer to work this stitch with my fabric kept taut in an embroidery hoop. I then work in the stab stitch method, with one hand above and the other below the fabric. This helps to avoid the fabric puckering. 

Work from left to right, starting with a short straight stitch. Bring the needle back to the front, halfway between the start and end of that stitch, piercing the thread. If you use two strands it is easier to slip the needle up between them. 

Then take it down again a half stitch length in front of the 

Split stitch diagram

When you work adjacent rows, vary the length of your stitches so they start in different places and don't form a visible line. 

On close inspection the stitch gives the illusion of a fine chain. It gives a smooth finish, emphasized when you use a shiny fiber. This makes it a useful alternative for areas that are too large to fill with satin stitch..





New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Recent Articles

  1. 4 sided stitch - learn how to work this simple pulled thread stitch

    Nov 20, 19 04:00 AM

    4 sided stitch, worked diagonally, completes the last band of our whitework sampler

    Read More

  2. Blackwork for Beginners Book

    Nov 20, 19 03:48 AM

    Blackwork for Beginners - learn this fascinating needlework technique with Carol Leather's book

    Read More

  3. Become a Cross stitch designer

    Nov 20, 19 03:33 AM

    This ebook gives an insider guide to becoming a cross stitch designer and starting your own business

    Read More

Recent Articles

  1. 4 sided stitch - learn how to work this simple pulled thread stitch

    Nov 20, 19 04:00 AM

    4 sided stitch, worked diagonally, completes the last band of our whitework sampler

    Read More

  2. Blackwork for Beginners Book

    Nov 20, 19 03:48 AM

    Blackwork for Beginners - learn this fascinating needlework technique with Carol Leather's book

    Read More

  3. Become a Cross stitch designer

    Nov 20, 19 03:33 AM

    This ebook gives an insider guide to becoming a cross stitch designer and starting your own business

    Read More

  4. Cross stitch is simple and fun

    Nov 18, 19 01:37 PM

    The first page in our cross stitch section. Links to freebies, lessons, beginner kits, advanced techniques like stitching on evenweave and working fractional stitches and more

    Read More

  5. Hand embroidery kits and charts

    Nov 18, 19 01:35 PM

    Check our range of hand embroidery kits and patterns featuring blackwork, cross stitch, hardanger and needlepoint. All patterns are downloadable

    Read More

Some of the links on this site include affiliate links, providing Needlework Tips and Techniques a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. Of course, you are not obligated to use these links to make a purchase, but if you do, it helps to support this site

NOTE:

Text and images contained within this site are not authorized to be traded, given, received  or sold for points, gold coins or for any other form of monetary value.

Nor are they authorized to be placed on any website, book, magazine, page or forum.

Please respect my copyright.