Making the Leviathan Stitch

The Leviathan stitch is one of the old tapestry stitches used for

Leviathan Stitch


many purposes, often as a filling stitch. This stitch sometimes is called SMYRNA CROSS STITCH or RAILWAY STITCH because it is considered to cover the canvas quickly. It is really a double cross stitch of small size. When made much larger it becomes the STAR STITCH.


Leviathan Stitch diagram.
Click on picture to see more detail.


This stitch consists basically of a Cross Stitch set diagonally with another cross stitch set straight and worked over the first. Following the diagram above, it can easily be seen how to proceed in making this stitch.

If reading instructions is easier for you to follow than using a diagram, the following will be helpful.

To Work Four squares must be taken for one stitch, and a cross stitch made into the four corners of the square. The wool (or floss) is then carried across the center of the stitch from bottom to top, and then from right to left, so that it passes through all the outside holes of the square forming the stitch. The finished stitch will end on the left side where you would continue working towards the left side of your design.

It is worked all together, and each stitch is made as to crossings exactly the same, or an even appearance to the whole will not be given.

Note that you may also make the stitch by making the initial cross stitch and then taking the thread from top to bottom and then from left to right. This will leave the stitch ending on the right side so that you can continue stitching in that direction.

Variations of Leviathan are formed by working over six or eight threads in height and as many in width. These require a double crossing at top and side for the sixth thread, and a double crossing and a straight stitch top and side for the eighth. These varieties are called Double Leviathan and Treble Leviathan.


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