Wednesday, May 11, 2011

the right way to smock....and the left way too!


Everyone knows there is a right way to smock, but did you know there is also a left way to smock? One of my newsletter subscribers wrote to me this week asking about left-handed smocking. Since there are probably many other left-handed smockers, I thought I would do a tutorial. My own daughter is left-handed and I taught her how to smock when she was in the 3rd grade. Since I am right-handed, I had to teach her everything in the reverse. I figured a picture tutorial might be helpful to all the lefties. I don't want the righties to feel "left" out, so this tutorial is also going to focus on perfecting the cable stitch. 
The Right-handed Cable Stitch
Perfecting the stitch

Begin in a valley and bring your needle up
just above (or below) the pleating guide row thread


Pull the thread on thru the valley as shown

The knot on the back side will sit on top of a pleat
which makes it invisible from the front side. If the knot 
was sitting in a valley on the backside, it would show
thru to the front. This method eliminates ugly knots
distorting the pleats on the front.

Bring the needle thru the pleat to the left of where
the thread came up thru the valley. Make
sure you keep your needle perfectly perpendicular
to the pleat and just above the pleating guide thread.

Pull needle and thread thru the pleat

We are working an up cable, therefore the thread is up
and the needle is down. Keep the needle perpendicular 
to the pleat and take a stitch.

Snug the pleats together, but not too tight.
You have now completed an up-cable and 
are ready for a down-cable

Take the needle to the very next pleat.
Thread is down, needle is up to make a down-cable.
Keep needle perpendicular to the pleat
and take another stitch.

A down-cable is now complete
The first two stitches are now complete
an up-cable and a down-cable
Continue working across the row
Next stitch is an up-cable and the thread is up
Keep needle perpendicular and take a stitch.

As you continue to work across the row, your
stitches should look like mine - a nice straight
even row of cable stitches. Strive to make all
your stitches look alike & avoid uneven stitches.
The Left-handed Cable Stitch
Perfecting the stitch

Left-handed smockers will begin on the right end of the
smocked piece and work from right to left.
Begin in a valley and bring your needle up
just above (or below) the pleating guide row thread.

Pull the thread up and thru, then take the needle thru
the very next pleat to the right, as shown, keeping
your needle perpendicular to the pleat.

Pull the thread on thru the pleat, then pick up
the next pleat to the left, keeping thread up and needle down.
This will create an up-cable.

Pull the thread thru, creating the up pleat, then pick
up the next pleat to the left, keeping the thread down
and needle up to create a down-cable.

Snug up, but not too tight, then pick up the next pleat
to the left. Strive to keep the needle perpendicular to
the pleat - this will give you even cable stitches.
Continue the cable row working from right to left,
alternating up and down stitches to create the cable stitch.

As you continue to work across the row, your
stitches should look like mine - a nice straight
even row of cable stitches. Strive to make all
your stitches look alike & avoid uneven stitches.
I hope this tutorial has been beneficial to all smockers, helping you to perfect your cable stitches! Happy Smock'in!




6 comments:

marilyn said...

very clear Laurie!! I understood it and I'm right handed :).. I had to teach myself how to crochet lefthanded years ago to teach one of the girls in the neighborhood. I didn't want her to feel left out..

The sewing room said...

Thank you Laurie so informative,my daughter is left handed and if she ever wants to learn smocking l will
certainly refer her to your tutorial at least l know l am getting it right although at the moment she is having great trouble with her crochet but she is persisting.

Anonymous said...

It seemed as if I always had at least one "leftie" in class when I was teaching smocking. I like your pictures/examples - they are great! I had to smock left-handed to teach them. I suppose that will come in useful if I ever cannot use my right hand for some reason. LOL!

KathyD

Liz P said...

When I taught smocking and had a leftie, I would sit in front of a mirror so she could see everything in reverse. These pictures are terrific, though. LIZ

Rettabug said...

Well done, Laurie! I'm sending a link to this tutorial to a friend who was struggling.
You always do such a good job of teaching!

Sorry I haven't been over to visit for awhile. I was having issues with Blogger for a bit & my wrist has been hurting as well. Its either too much tennis or too much planting...I'm not sure which.

I'm also sorry I never told you about Best Press! I've used it in my quilting for years. I get mine at JoAnn's in the big gallon size & use a 40% off coupon all the time. It truly IS the best!!

Hugs to you, Honey. Hope you are enjoying a GREATful Memorial Day.

fondly,
Rett

Teressa said...

I know this is an old post, but it is still coming in helpful. I am teaching myself how to smock, and am left handed. THANK YOU!!!!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails