A Tale of Two Stitches • Jan Beaney & Jean Littlejohn

Digital Edition – Read Online + Download Today
Jan and Jean show the wonderful effects that may be achieved using two of their favourite stitches: Sorbello and Lock Stitch.



A Tale of Two Stitches • Book 11 by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn

In this book we look at just two stitches — Sorbello and Lock stitch, primarily because we like using them. 

The knotted Sorbello Stitch is worked in thick yarns to produce a chunkier square block, and thinner fibers for a star like pattern. Layers of stitching create lifelike dimensional images. The flexible Lock stitch allows distortion, alteration and embellishment to build up exciting patterns. The Lock Stitch is used with a felting technique to create a complete structure.

The concept of working with one stitch and extending the boundaries is not new but it is never possible to overestimate how valuable it can be in terms of innovative approaches to stitch. The purpose of working in this way is not to constrain creativity but to apply lateral thinking and encourage new ways of looking at stitching.

A Tale Of Two Stitches 02

Before exploring at the individual possibilities there are some basic guidelines that apply when working any hand stitching:

  1. When working intensive areas of textured stitching a frame keeps the fabric taut and eases the working process. A floor frame or other hands free frame may also be helpful.
  2. Background fabrics can vary but a not too closely woven fabric, easy to stitch into, such as medium weight cotton will be better for stitching. If a fabric is difficult to work with it acts as a disincentive to building up stitches.
  3. The correct needle will also help. One job of the needle is to ease the path of the thread through the fabric and for thick threads a chenille needle with a large eye and a sharp point will do exactly that.
  4. These days, creative stitchers enjoy experimenting with the fabulous range of threads and yarns now available. They may be collected over years and stored in co-ordinated colors. Torn fabrics, string, wool, raffia, ribbon, braid and knitting tape could all be used.
A Tale Of Two Stitches 01

Hand stitching has remained a dynamic means of creating surfaces for practical or decorative cloths. Textures evolve with each new stitch, developing ideas, landscapes, imagery and more. It is hoped that some of the approaches suggested in this book might encourage you to try, revise and extend these fascinating stitches.

  • 28 pages of full color illustrations
  • Online Reader + PDF Download
  • First published by Double Trouble Enterprises 2003 / Digital Edition 2019
  • ISBN No. 0-9546014-0-8

Jan Beaney & Jean Littlejohn • About the Authors

Jan Beaney Jean Littlejohn Bw

Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn are internationally acclaimed textiles artists, authors and educators. For more than forty years the duo know as “Double Trouble Enterprises” has been challenging traditional notions of embroidery and stitch by working with soluble fabrics, mixed media, bonding, printing, embellishing and collage and extensive use of color development and journaling to great success. Founding members of the 62 Group of Textile Artists, featured instructors at Callaway Gardens School of Needle ArtsCity & Guilds (London), Fellows of the Society of Designer Craftsmen (UK)  and Presidents emeritus of the Embroiderers’ Guild (UK), Jan and Jean continue their work in inspiring stitch artists of all ages with print books, digital books, and a wide range of DVDs and streaming workshops.

Learn more about Jan and Jean in their interview with TextileArtist.org

Visit their Double Trouble Enterprises Website