Stitch Tutorial: Rhodes Stitch

This is one of my favourite stitches. I love how tactile it is. And how versatile! Obviously, you can change the colours of it but you also get different results depending on the fabric/thread thickness.

The stitch is best worked on some kind of counted fabric, even weave or aida for example. You can work on other types of fabric but the edges may not be as straight and neat.

It is normally used as a fill stitch but there is absolutely nothing stopping you from using it as single stitches if that’s what you feel like! :-)

On your fabric, bring the needle to the front in the top right corner of an imagined square, at the turquoise arrow. Then count 7 (in this case) holes to the left. Including the hole where you brought up the needle, your square is 8 holes wide.

Count 8 holes (including the one on the original row) down from the top pink arrow and insert the needle in the 8th hole. The bottom pink arrow points out the bottom right corner of our imagined square.

Next bring the needle up 1 hole to the left of where you started the first stitch along the top row and insert it 1 hole to the right of the corner on the bottom row.

Repeat this with the other stitches, up 1 hole to the left of the previous one and down 1 hole to the right of the previous one.

Note: you work the whole stitch in the same colour thread, I’ve just changed colour for each step to make it easier to see what’s going on. :-)

That being said, I quite like the way this multi coloured Rhodes stitch looks so maybe it’s worth experimenting with. :-D

Keep repeating up 1 hole to the left of the previous one and down 1 hole to the right of the previous one until you get to the 8th hole. The yellow stitch in this case.

After you get to the 8th stitch, it’s time to change direction. Now you bring the needle up 1 hole down from the 8th hole on the first row. And insert the needle 1 hole up from the 8th hole on the bottom row.

And then it is just a matter of repeating bring the needle up 1 hole down from the previous stitch and inserting the needle 1 hole up from the previous stitch until the square is filled. And that’s it! :-)

I mentioned that you can vary the stitch and I thought I’d share a few examples. On the left and middle swatches I have changed the sizes by the number of holes each square spans. Left to right it’s 8, 7 and 6 holes. And I think there is a small difference in the thread count of the left and middle fabrics which also influences the size of the stitch.

The thread count on the swatch on the right is smaller, resulting in larger stitches. They are all 6 holes wide/tall but they are much larger than the ones on the left and middle swatches! On the right hand swatch I changed the number of strands I used. Counter clockwise from top right: 2 strands, 3 strands and 4 strands.

So it’s easy to get very different results from the same stitch by playing around with the sizes etc. From the tight squares on the left and middle to the almost star-like shape of the 2-strand one on the right hand swatch.

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