The Honeycomb stitch is used to draw together in an ornamental pattern the gathers upon the neck and sleeves of smock frocks, and also for all kinds of decorative gathering. It requires to be executed with great care and exactness, so as to form the cell-shaped cavities that give it its name, and should be worked upon materials that are fine in texture, and yet sufficiently stiff to forn even and straight folds. The best materials are cambrics, hollands, and stiff muslins.
To work the Honeycomb Stitch:
Take a piece of holland, and draw out horizontal threads the distance from each other the honeycombs are to be; set it in gathers that are perfectly even. Draw these up, and stroke them down with a knitting needle in straight lines the length of material to be ornamented. Thread a needle with black or dark colored purse silk. Commence at the right-hand side of the work, bring it up from the wrong side of the material, and catch the first two gathers together with a Back Stitch, about a quarter of an inch from the line of gathers, and on one of the drawn-out threads (see Fig. No. 1: Honeycomb Stitch). Put the needle down at the back of the material a quarter of an inch, bring it up at the third gather, and catch the third and second gathers together with a Back Stitch. Return the needle to the back, and to the height of the first made stitch, and catch the fourth and third gathers together with a Back Stitch; put it back in a line with the second stitch, and catch the fifth and fourth gathers together, and continue working in this way, first in one line and then in the other, catching a new gather and an old gather together with a Back Stitch every time, until all are secured. Work the third line as the first (commencing at the right-hand side of work), and the fourth as the second line, catching the gathers together in these lines in the same order as the ones already worked, and keeping them straight with the drawn out threads.
The illustration (Fig. No. 1: Honeycomb Stitch) shows Honeycomb Stitch commenced, with the run thread, two lines of Honeycomb finished, and two lines in progress, with the gathers stroked, ready to fasten together. A variety of Honeycomb is formed by treating each gather as a laid thread, and forming a pattern over it, as in Couching, with a thread brought from the back of the material. The material is gathered very evenly, put into an Embroidery Frame, and stroked down. Each gather is then caught down singly with a Back Stitch, and these securing stitches are arranged in parallel diagonal lines, or as open diamonds. When forming open diamonds the number of gathers must be counted, and a tiny pencil line drawn over the work, so that each diamond is made of the same size.
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