?embroidery? help please!


my bubbie can no longer do needle crafts due to RA and her vision, so she gave me all of her yarn and needles and stuff today. she has an afghan done that she was embellishing… it’s some form of embroidery. i told her i would try to finish it for her, but i don’t know what this technique is called to try to search for a tutorial… she said she does it with a yarn needle… photos are attached of the right and wrong side and there are larger ones here:


if you need a better shot, shrunk these for the site.

any help would be most appreciated!!!

What a lovely idea. It will be so rewarding for you both.
It is done in ‘Cross Stitch’ embroidery, also known as ‘Counted Cross stitch’. Here are two tutorials, and a Google search will get you many more.

it kinda looks like regular needlepoint- the kind done with a yarn needle and mesh: as opposed to cross stitch which uses a sharp, small sweing needle and fine mesh.

It looks like large scale cross stitch to me. The blue is the base fabric, no?

Yes, I’d be interested to know a little more because I’ve done a number of smaller cross stitching patterns but never had the base look (in this case the blue patterning) on both sides. Is this two sides that have been sewn together? And then the additional flowering added on as a next stage or…?

I understand Kemp’s question as to whether the fabric itself was composed of stitches or is made to look like that and this the 'embellishment is just the flowers and joining lines.

I can’t quite tell from the images.

I applaud you for taking on this work. If in doubt I would take it to a professional craft shop and ask some questions to ensure you are on right track.

Actually, looking at the images again…the edging of the blanket and the look of a line - like a sewn line - in one image, it could be two pieces put together. I’m now curious about this :slight_smile: :??

Sorry for third comment… I looked closely yet again and realised that the ‘wrong’ side does not look - the flowers - cross stitched as such. You would normally get the cross pattern on both sides (which some exceptions on wrong side of course). A lot of stitches in the image wrong side aren’t crossed. So, you need to explore the technique used so you can match it and again, I would consider taking it to a store.

I think it looks like cross stitch also, which can be done with yarns instead of floss, depending on the project.

It looks like the floral design was placed on top of an existing (blue) base, as the blue peeks out under some of the stitches. It would be similar to doing Swiss Darning, only making X’s instead of the V’s.

Susan - My cross stitch is primarily vertical lines on the backside, not X’s, as I do the “two journey” method where you make all your bottom stitches across the fabric left to right, then on the return trip (right to left) you cross them (all your top stitches [B]must[/B] lay in the same direction throughout the piece). This makes for a neater, more even piece on both sides. Only solitary stitches are made as an individual X.

It’s DEFINITELY cross-stitch.

thank you all for your help!!! the base fabric is done, yes, it was knit using what she called the “afghan stitch” in that pale lighter blue. everything else is being added on via the yarn needle and yarn.

i meant to mention the X shape of the stitches, but looks like you all figured that out!

thanks again!!! :slight_smile:

yup. [SIZE=-1]not merely cross-stitch, it’s clearly most sincerely cross-stitch. very well done, too. almost as good as my own. :wink:

it’ll reap benefits if you mimic the neatness of the back of your bubbie’s stitches. tell her I noticed her awesomeness. :heart:

It’s beautiful! Although I’ve crocheted nearly all my life, I never was able to figure out how to do the afghan stitch with the long crochet hook. I loved counted cross stitch, and the afghan stitch makes perfect little squares on which to make the crosses.

Crazy4kats… Interesting… I can’t see that in my mind. On lines here…say doing a line of stitches, we’re advised to do as you said…go all in one direction e.g. bottom left diagonal up to top right. But as you work back and do the other stitch, I can’t see how one doesn’t form a cross simply because the stitch is going in the other direction. I’m feeling spatially challenged! :slight_smile:

Susan - Hard to visualize, I know. The return trip is placing the floss on the back over the vertical lines that were created on the first trip. If you can picture where your needle is going on the back rather than the front, the first trip (on the back) is going from top right to bottom right. After you make the last diagonal and start the return, your needle (on the back) is going into the same places, except your first return st which is bottom right to top left.

Even individual st make the vertical line, I think the only way to usually get the X on the back would involve making the st from right to left, and even then I think you’d only get one diagonal line.

now that i know it’s clearly definitely and most sincerely cross-stitch, my best knitter friend at home knows how to do it, so we’re good to go! hopefully i can maintain the neatness, but i wouldn’t bet money on that! :wink: i am confused now with the mention of a crochet hook. i personally thought it was crocheted, but she said she didn’t know how to crochet and that it was knit using the afghan stitch, but then had these things that looked just like the vintage susan bates/boye needles, but with a crochet hook end… i have no clue.

she also has asked me to add pompoms all around “while i’m at it when i have nothing else to do.” teehee!

Afghan stitch, AKA Tunisian crochet & also refered to as Tunisian knitting too I think. Its a Cross between knitting and crochet & uses a Long crochet hook. Like a knitting needle with crochet hook end, which is what you describe.

More here if you are curious. :thumbsup:

FWIW, I’d crocheted for decades but never tackled Tunisian. Dove in some months back thinking couldn’t be that hard. Did a tote for my mother and then did very large cross-stitch apple (she loves 'em!) on it. Found the process a bit tiring on my hands but would definitely do it again. LOVE the stitch effect and that it affords chance to then cs on it.

(Wish I had a pic cuz it turned out great.)


hey, that link also has the specific instructions for cross-stitching on afghan stitch!!! thanks! :slight_smile:

The only way you would have crosses on the back would be if you skipped a spot.

Here is a video that shows how to cross-stitch. Keep watching, and you’ll see the stitches being made. She eventually turns it over to the back, and you’ll see the straight up and down threads there.

hey look what i can do now!

(not the best pic, but…)

it’s really fun and i think i LOVE it!!! now i understand why bubbie kept on saying “this is an afghan needle” and i would think to myself, whatever, it’s a long crochet hook with a blob on the end. :wink: