A Very Long Drizzle

Lynn Schoeffler © 2006

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A great stitch for seaweed turned out to be a very long drizzle, as worked in Brazilian Embroidery. You can see it on my Mermaid Box lid next to the sea horse, and a beaded version on the body of the box. Edmar Lola weight rayon thread was used for the box lid, and a silk buttonhole twist from Color Streams for the beaded version. 

To do these long stitches, you need a bullion needle that is at least 3 l/2” long—you can find these at JDR Brazilian Embroidery. Look for the 3 l/2” or 5” size.

Also helpful, but not necessary is large, weighted pincushion. Until I found a pincushion, I just used the arm of the sofa.

The drizzle stitch is a cast-on stitch, and you can find instructions for it in most BE books: Try Sunshine's Treasures beginning book (available from JDR) for instructions and illustrations.

To start: thread the long needle with a piece of thread about 20 inches long, and come up through the fabric. Remove the thread from the eye of the needle, and re-insert the needle next to the emerging thread. 


  Steadying the needle with your right hand (not shown in photo), cast on the number of stitches desired—you will have to judge the number by how long you want the finished stitch. As you work the cast-ons, you will notice that the ridge created by the stitches will start to spiral—OK for seaweed!  
  When you have the desired number of cast-on stitches worked, approximately 45-50 in the photo, carefully re-thread the bullion needle, and begin to pull the needle through the stitches, drawing the working thread back through the cast-ons. 
  When you have this many stitches on a needle it is sometimes difficult to pull the needle through them. Instead, hold the needle beneath the fabric steady with one hand. Pull the stitches off the top of the needle, a few at a time, stopping to draw the needle down through the stitches and fabric until all the stitches are off the needle, and the needle is completely through to the back side of the fabric. 
When you have the working thread pulled all the way through the drizzle stitch, you will see how it wants to twist and spiral. Gently twist and pull the stitch until it has the look that you want. 


Knot the working thread to the back of the fabric. Using a fine thread in a matching color, couch the long drizzle stitch to the background fabric so that it waves in the current.

You can add beads to the stitch after you have taken the thread out of the large needle. Re-thread a milliner's needle that will hold the thread and a large bead—used in the photo is Lola weight thread with a size 8 bead.

Work a few cast-ons on the long needle. Add any number of beads (more is better, because you can take them off later if you have too many).

Keeping the beads from falling off the thread, take the thread out of the milliner's needle. To add a bead to the stitch, let one bead fall down the working thread, until it is next to the previous cast on stitch. Complete the cast on, keeping the tension firm to hold the bead securely in the stitch. Continue to add beads in a random fashion. If you have not used all the beads you threaded, simply remove the unused beads before you re-thread the long needle.

Though the instructions may look a little complicated, drizzle stitch can be mastered with just a little practice. It can be used in a variety of ways—the little snail shells on the body of the box are drizzle stitches, coiled and then couched in the shape desired.


JDR Brazilian Embroidery

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