Fair warning, this post is going to be photo-heavy.

I frequent our quarterly library book sales and am always finding cross stitch patterns and this time I found a (falling apart) 1978 Better Homes and Gardens embroidery book. It’s got some interesting projects (like this blanket and pillow that I tweeted about earlier in the week), but most intriguing was this stitch diagram in the back:


A quick google around convinced me that I wasn’t really going crazy, this was something that I actually hadn’t seen anywhere else before.

I had to try it, and frankly, that diagram left me with a few questions on how it was supposed to work. I know I haven’t technically done a closed herringbone, but I really like it open (and it seems easier to describe and show), but basically the more closed the herringbone stitch, the feather stitch gets more closed as well.

So here we go. I will show you the stitch worked in a single color, and then again worked in two colors.

herringbone with feather step 1
First make a herringbone stitch.

herringbone with feather step 2
Then come up at the outside of a full cross to start the feather stitch.

herringbone with feather step 3
And start feather stitching, going under the cross and over the feather stitch (if this is confusing, wait for the two color pictures, that might help).

herringbone with feather step 4
Here’s the second feather stitch in progress.

herringbone with feather two colors
Here’s a look at making the feather stitch with two colors.

herringbone with feather stitch overlay
And here they are all done.

Really, it makes sense while doing it.

And because I can’t help myself, I did some experimenting with thread widths and stitch widths on paper.
herringbone with feather stitch overlay on paper

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