This little baby rattle has several examples of the latest stitch on my 100 Stitches odyssey, the satin stitch:I have realized that this stitch is an easy stitch to learn and do, but a difficult stitch to do well! So here goes. I started with 6-strand embroidery floss and a #24 chenille needle:
I wanted to do this stitch over a small shape so that my stitches would look smooth and even and have less chance of looking out of line. I also wanted the shape to be a circle. I first traced the outline of a nickel - too big, then a dime - still too big. I finally found this knitting-needle gauge with a perfect circle in a perfect size. This largest circle has a 1/2" diameter:
I drew the circle and then threaded my needle with the six-strand embroidery floss. This is dmc color 827, a really pretty powder blue:
Now according to 100 Stitches, for the satin stitch, you can just work straight stitches across your shape. Or you could make padding under your stitches by outlining the shape with chain or running stitches. Apparently this gives a really nice raised effect. Instead of the chain or running stitch, I just outlined the edge of my circle with backstitch. Once this was completed, I switched to a single strand of the six-strand embroidery floss. After some experimenting, I found that using the single strand gives the smoothest satiny look. So to do the straight across stitches, 100 Stitches clearly shows that you work from the outside of the outline stitching. First, come up through the fabric on one side:
and go into the fabric on the opposite side:
After some more experimenting, I started at the widest part of the circle because it is easier to establish nice straight lines. Just keep working back
until you have covered the whole shape
with this beautiful satin stitch:
This stitch works so well on circle shapes. I haven't tried it on any other shapes but I definitely plan to. I still need practice on keeping the edges of the circle clean, and making even straight across stitches. It is really obvious if they are not straight and even!
This stitch is number 6 and is categorized in the flat stitches section of 100 Stitches.