GEO­MET­RIC PINEAP­PLE HOOP

Go for a to­tally trop­i­cal make with this fruity beauty by Cather­ine Greenslade

Mollie Makes - - Front Page -

MA­TE­RI­ALS

Em­broi­dery hoop, 15cm (6") Light coloured fab­ric (cot­ton and linen are ideal), 23cm (9") square Soft, sharp pen­cil Nee­dle Mask­ing tape DMC stranded cot­ton, one skein each in Teak Brown 898 (1), Saf­fron Or­ange 900 (2), Or­ange 740 (3), Medium Au­tumn Gold 3854 (4), Sun­light Yel­low 725 (5), Cac­tus Green 580 (6), Ap­ple Green 906 (7), Dark For­est Green 986 (8), Granny Smith Green 907 (9) You should know by now how we can’t re­sist adding a pineap­ple to any­thing – they ap­pear on our lapels, as prints on our dresses and as props in our pho­to­shoots. Now we're in­dulging our fruity ob­ses­sion even fur­ther with this geo­met­ric em­broi­dery de­sign. Add it to clothes or cush­ions, or dis­play in a hoop on the wall or man­tel­piece, as shown.

This pro­ject only uses two stitches (satin and fish­bone). Flat stitches are key to get­ting the tex­ture right, so let the nee­dle dan­gle on the thread oc­ca­sion­ally to get rid of any twists. Knots can also get in the way, so keep them to a min­i­mum by weav­ing tails into the back of your work rather than knot­ting off.

Us­ing mask­ing tape, fix the pat­tern to a well-lit win­dow with the fab­ric taped on top. Lightly trace the lines us­ing the pen­cil – the marks will be cov­ered as you work. The num­bers are for colour ref­er­ence only and don't need to be copied onto the fab­ric.

Re­move the fab­ric from the win­dow and sketch a ver­ti­cal line down the cen­tre of each leaf, from the tip to the base.

Place the fab­ric cen­trally in the hoop and tighten the screw so the fab­ric is taut. Start­ing with the first colour, cut a piece of cot­ton 45cm (18") long. Satin stitch, which we’ll be us­ing on the lower half of the pineap­ple, re­quires all six strands for a chunkier fin­ish so there’s no need to sep­a­rate the cot­ton thread.

Satin stitch is a sim­ple straight stitch in which the nee­dle is re­peat­edly brought up through one line and down through the line on the op­po­site side of the shape, mak­ing each new stitch very close to the pre­vi­ous one, fill­ing the space com­pletely. Stitches are made hor­i­zon­tally, work­ing from bot­tom to top for an upright tri­an­gle or top to bot­tom for in­verted tri­an­gles. Start­ing on one side of the tri­an­gle, bring the nee­dle up through the fab­ric.

Bring the nee­dle down through the fab­ric on the other side of the tri­an­gle to make the first stitch. As this ex­am­ple is an in­verted tri­an­gle, sub­se­quent stitches will be below the first, de­creas­ing in length as the shape nar­rows.

Bring the nee­dle up next to the point where you be­gan and back down on the op­po­site side next to the pre­vi­ous exit stitch, al­ways fol­low­ing the lines of the shape.

Con­tinue in this man­ner un­til the tri­an­gle is filled. The back of

the work should look al­most iden­ti­cal to the front.

Com­plete the other tri­an­gles of the same colour – there’s no need to tie off at the end of each tri­an­gle, the thread can be car­ried across the back. Re­peat for colours 2 to 5.

The leaves are cre­ated in fish­bone stitch us­ing just three strands of thread, so care­fully split the cot­ton in half.

Turn the pineap­ple so the tips of the leaves point to­wards you. Bring the nee­dle up through the tip of the leaf and sew a small straight stitch along the cen­tre line. The se­cond stitch be­gins to the right of the first, about half­way along it on the outer line of the leaf. The nee­dle should be brought down just be­yond the orig­i­nal cen­tre line exit stitch, cre­at­ing a slightly slant­ing stitch.

Make a se­cond slant­ing stitch, this time be­gin­ning on the left, and con­tinue al­ter­nat­ing in this pat­tern all the way down the leaf. Each new stitch ex­its frac­tion­ally lower than the last along the cen­tre line, cre­at­ing an over­lap­ping ef­fect. Where the space doesn’t al­low for fish­bone stitch just fill the re­main­ing area with satin stitch, slanted in the same di­rec­tion.

Fill all the leaves in the same man­ner with the ap­pro­pri­ate colour, and tie off.

To dis­play in the hoop, en­sure the pineap­ple is cen­tred and the fab­ric is taut. Tighten the screw and trim the edges of the fab­ric into a cir­cle, leav­ing at least 2.5cm (1") of loose fab­ric. Leav­ing a long tail, sew a large run­ning stitch around the edge.

Pull the ends of the thread to gather the loose fab­ric and tie them to­gether. This tech­nique avoids glu­ing and al­lows the work to be eas­ily ad­justed or re­moved in fu­ture, if nec­es­sary.

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