Start by affixing the thread on the back of the
work. If you have no previous stitches on which to work the thread
end, then use a waste knot.
Come up at the line of stitching.
Bring the needle up two threads away. Loop the
thread under needle as shown.
If your directions state differently, then you
will have to adjust. The most common is a loop made over two
threads for a line of chain stitching, three or more on finer
Pull on the thread. When there is some slack
left, use your thumb and index finger to grasp the thread close
to the loop and pull in the direction of the arrow. With long
threads, you may have to do this several times.
By grasping with your fingers you can control the look of the
loop. It also saves wear and tear on the thread, especially at
the eye of the needle.
Put the needle back down in the SAME hole that
the thread came out.
Not doing this is the most common mistake made in basic chain
Again, come up two threads away.
Continue with steps two and three for the length you need.
Illustrated is five chain made over 2 ground
To end a line of chain, put the needle back down over the loop
(arrow) and into the SAME hole where the thread came out. This
is a couching stitch that holds the last loop in place.
Sometimes you may feel more comfortable, especially on closely
woven grounds, just couching the last loop a thread or two away,
rather than the same hole. But on counted work, and coarser grounds
(up to 32-count or canvas) couch down into the same hole.
Run out of thread on a line of stitching? Make
a loop slightly larger than normal. With thread at the back,
unthread the needle and leave the excess. You can also leave
the needle threaded and use a new needle for the new thread.
Affix a new thread (red in the illustration) on the back of
previous stitches. Bring needle and thread up two holes (ground
threads) up at the top of the loop and start a new chain. Adjust
the loose thread on the back to form the last loop properly and
anchor the thread.
Continue the chain stitch for the desired length.
Need to join a previous line of stitching?
Work chain stitch up to the first line of stitching.
Pass the thread through the first loop of the first row.
Put needle back down in the same hole that the thread came up
- just as if you were making another chain. Adjust the loop as
necessary for evenness. Anchor the thread on the back.