Balancing on a Thread

The Star Octagon* is one of the first stitches I remember connecting with as it is decorative, allows a fun combo of threads, and has the perfect, balanced look I love (meaning not overtly diagonal).

It's a simple concept.  The base pattern is over 1-2-1-2-1 in alternating directions as you go across the canvas.  

The intersection is where the fun begins.  A larger bead adds shine, simplicity, and a pop of surprising texture.  A 2X2 "X" keeps it clean and understated.  A Smyrna Cross adds a different level of texture.  Appropriately sized beads bring glamour and texture.

You can also keep the intersections empty to show the shading or fill them with Plain Needlepoint to downplay the area.

There's no end to the thread combos that work here.  This stitch is great for clothing, baskets, ground cover, roofs, or trees and works in both small and large spaces.  

I really need to remember to use this stitch more often again!

This stitch diagram, along with other #whimsicalwednesday and #smallspacesunday stitch diagrams, can also be found on  

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If you like what you see on this blog, want to learn some very creative decorative stitches, and how to put them all together, sells stitch guides for seasonal Melissa Shirley designs.  Seventeen guides are currently available and more are in the pipeline.

I hope you have the perfect space for this stitch and enjoy!

*  A huge thank you to Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson for giving me the name of this stitch.  I always called it "1-2-1-2-1" until today!