Understanding The Double Stitch
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Click on images to get a larger view In macrame it is called the cow hitch. Fisherman call it the lark's head knot or reverse double half hitch. In tatting it is called the double stitch. However you want to term it, they are basically the same type of knot, just formed differently. It consists of a core or carrier thread and a working thread. The working thread is the part that forms the double stitch around the core thread.

Forming the Double Stitch

For practice, take a pencil and lay it horizontally. Take an 8 inch long piece of heavy thread and loop and twist the thread in a counter clockwise direction and slide it onto the pencil(fig 1). Likewise, loop and twist the thread in a clockwise direction and slide it onto the pencil(fig 2). The result is the lark's head knot(fig 3). Turn the pencil with the lark's head knot over and you have in tatting terms what is called the double stitch.

Forming the Double Stitch with Thread

Forming the double stitch on a pencil is just a basic exercise. The pencil is just the carrier of the double stitch. Now replace the pencil with the same type of heavy thread in an 8 inch long piece. This thread will now become the carrier thread. Repeat the above steps to create the double stitch on the carrier thread. Fig 5 & 6 show this. Fig 7 shows the completed double stitch, both front and back view.

Transferring or Flipping the Thread

Transferring or flipping the half hitch is really a simple action in forming the double stitch with the thread. But it is also the most important action that needs to be accomplished. You need to feel comfortable creating the half hitch flip before continuing. Take two 8 inch lengths of heavy thread and form the first half hitch as shown in Fig 5. Keeping the carrier thread straight, tie the two loose ends of the working thread to the corresponding carrier thread ends as show in Fig 8.

Keeping the carrier thread tight, grasp with your fingers the knotted ends, as shown in Fig 9.

Give the carrier thread a little slack with the index fingers, and with the middle and lower fingers, pull slowly outward and tighten the working thread so that the working thread is now straight and the half hitch is now being formed by the carrier thread(fig 10). What has happened is that the half hitch has transferred from one thread to the next. This is an important action that will take place in forming each half hitch of the double stitch.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed on these pages are solely of the author
and are not to be taken as gospel. There are several ways to accomplish
each step of the processes and it is up to your discretion to find what best
suits your situation.