“pulled-through cable stitch” – a strange stitch revisited

Recently, Elizabeth at Qieter Moments explores stitches again with her usual brilliance. She had just discovered a new one, raised chain stitch She has instruction in that post, and in subsequent posts lovely variations on it. I realized how similar this stitch was to an obscure German stitch I had used on my detatched chain stitch sampler. I pointed her to that posting and she did some more wonderful variations on it .

In order to complete that little debate, Iooked for the little booklet where I found that stitch. It is “Sticken-das Vergnügen” (roughly stitching-the amusement) by Wolle Rödel, a needlework store chain. The stitch is called “durchzogener Kabelstich” which translates to pulled-through cable stitch. The way it is done there it indeed looks like a cable stitch variant, but it is done more like (raised) chain stitch. This and Elizabeth’s blog are the only places where I ever saw a stitch like this. Who else did know them?

Now here is how to do it, according to said booklet. The stitch is worked in vertical rows to form a kind of raised band, to work it horizontally turn the fabric. Te lengths of the horizontal stitches can vary between barely visible and long to get a spined or centipede-legs effect. In the booklet they are longer than shown here.

You can click the photographs to enlarge them. I’m sorry, I know they are not as good as they should be, but I don’t want to fiddle with this any longer today.

First do a horizontal straight stitch, and bring the needle back up to the front right in the middle of it. Pull normally.

Now proceed by doing a regular detatched chain stitch over the first straight stitch.

Bring the needle up to the front for the next horizontal stitch in one line with the end of the little stitch tacking down the chain stitch.

The first stitch done.

Start the next stitch like the first one, bring the needle to the front in the same hole where you ended the last stitch.


7 responses to ““pulled-through cable stitch” – a strange stitch revisited

  • Elizabeth


    Thank you for this step by step on the stitch. I think I might have located a possible match in something called an anchor stitch in a book of German embroidery stitches by M E Wilkinson published in 1912 and now on-line. I love tracing the background of stitches but am not very learned in it. I would love for you to take a look and know your opinion.

    Thank you for your kind words in the post. I admire your own dedication to and skill in needlework. In my first experiments I was attempting to make the tie down of the chain the beginning of the next straight stitch but it quickly changed as I made the stitch a detached one in order to do other designs and then to follow some of your examples on the sampler. And I believe it became like this German stitch you’d found and were using.

    Many thanks and best wishes,


  • jowynn

    Thanks so much for this tutorial. I think I will use this stitch on my jacket, to highlight some of the black lines.


  • jowynn

    Tried to send this to your email address, but it bounced back to me. Here’s the message”

    Thanks for your comments on my blog. I appreciate knowing you’ve been there.

    I think we all work in the way that suits us best. I plod along on one project at a time, while you do many different kinds of art. Your sampler is great. I would like to do more play with stitches, as you and Elizabeth do, but then I wouldn’t make any progress on my project.

    Thanks for the tutorial on the “pulled through cable stitch” or whatever it is. I was going to do barred chain to accentuate some of the black lines on my scarf pattern, but I think I’ll try this instead.



  • tenar72

    Elizabeth, thanks for these links, see my nest posting when I get round to writing it.

    Jowynn, thank you so much for your thoughts and encouragement. You’re probably right.

    BTW, my email adress has gone defunct because I wasn’t online enough in the past months. I entered another one in my wordpress profile, I hoe that will work.


  • More variants of raised chain stitch « Tenar’s cave

    […] 2, 2008 at 5:55 pm · Filed under embroidery ·Tagged hand embroidery In a comment to my last post Elizabeth pointed me to the book of M. E. Wilkinson, “Embroidery stitches” of 1912 […]


  • Susan

    Thanks for showing the pics. I was wondering how Elizabeth got the stitch to have a curvier line to it, but I see it happens automatically when you do the chain over the straight stitch that way. I’m not working with that kind of fabric, but on actual blocks, so I’ll be interested to see if I can get the same effect.


  • tenar72

    Good luck with that Susan! If it doesn’t work have a look at my next post and variants of tete-de boeuf-stitch for such an effect. BTW, you have a nice blog.


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