I thought I knew how to do Portuguese stem stitch so I didn’t review Sharon’s how-to description carefully. I had these three flowers already stitched so I used it to make the stems.

Then I read several posts that questioned if the poster had done their stitches right, so I followed a link to a Mary Corbet video.

Nope! I had not done it right at all! So I practiced doing it correctly.

As you can see, I also played with adding beads and discovered three different ways of doing that.

  • The first way (first 3 beads with 2 plain stitches between 2 & 3) was to add it after the two wraps and, for this right handed stitcher, keep it to the left when doing the wraps of the next stitch.
  • The next four beads were added at the same time as above in the stitch, but kept to the right of the next wraps. The last dark blue bead was also added this way.
  • The three light blue beads were added to the first wrap. Afterwards I thought maybe I could do both wraps through the bead. The bead becomes the knot in this version.

What I like about the different ways of attaching the beads is that they all look different. I want to play more with this stitch and with adding beads to this and other stitches. I need to think more abstractly when playing with stitches and adding beads. It’s easier to “see” different ways of doing things when I’m not “seeing” a flower or something else recognizable.

I actually like the look (when I stayed neat) of the wrong stitch, but I need to play some more to see what I did. Somehow it evaporated from my mind as I practice the right way. I wonder if it’s a named stitch or simply a “wrongly” stitched stitch–which would make it a new stitch. I looks like the normal Portuguese stem stitch without the scalloped side. To me, the normal Portuguese stem stitch looks sort of like a chain stitch with knots on the side of each new link. My alternate version looks more solid. Hmmm… it may be essentially a wrapped back stitch, with two instead of one wrap for each stitch.

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