An alternative way of cutting

While I was working on Odessa I came across an interesting tip in Stitch magazine. It suggested that if the threads you needed to cut were fairly long (stretching over several Kloster blocks), then you first cut them in the centre between their two edging blocks, rather than cutting very closely along the blocks in the usual way. You can then pull the cut threads back and cut them a second time, this time very close to the Kloster block. The cut ends will spring back and be so short that they will disappear between the satin stitches. Well, that’s the theory anyway.

It looked like a useful technique to know – for one thing, it would mean not having to poke in all those pesky cut ends. And Odessa, with its longish stretches of open hem, was the perfect project to try it out on.

In these hems, 6 threads are cut rather than the 4 threads per Kloster block in Hardanger, but the principle is the same. Cut the threads at the centre, and with your needle tease the two halves out, unravelling them up to the satin stitch border. Half of the threads will end up at the top of the work, and half at the back. At this stage, it looks a right mess!

The first stage - front The first stage - back

Now pull the cut threads back, one by one, until they seem to come out of the top of the Kloster block (or the bottom, if you’re working at the back of your stitching). Pull the thread quite taut, then cut as close to the satin stitch as you dare. The short cut end will spring back and hide itself between the satin stitches; if it doesn’t, encourage it to lie down with your needle.

Pulling back the cut threads Cutting very close

According to Stitch magazine, if any cut ends are still visible you didn’t pull the thread taut enough. In which case I must bravely put up my hand and say "I can’t do it". I pulled the thread as taut as I could, and cut as closely as I dared, but unfortunately the cut ends are still visible. Very short, and almost hidden, but still visible.

After cutting

Even so, it is an interesting way of doing it, the cut ends are definitely shorter than in the traditional way of cutting, and it’s always good to have another method up your sleeve. And perhaps with some more practice I’ll manage to get rid of those cut ends entirely!

One comment on “An alternative way of cutting

  1. I have recently come across this way of cutting threads in preparation for needleweaving on a Mary Hickmott design. It is mostly what you describe, but I came up with an obvious little tip.

    When you are left with your long threads, smooth them out flat and have a close look at them. The clue is in the weave: there will be a little gap separating every other thread. Makes sense when you realise that you have unwoven them! Anyway, take the shank of your needle and encourage the half of the threads that want to be at the bottom to the underside of the fabric, leaving you with, say, three threads at the top.

    Now, if you hold these threads straight upright, you can cut them very close to the kloster block. Always use the long edge of the blade, not the tip — don’t want to cut the satin stitch — and gently push down on the satin stitch. This gives you a midges-diges more length to cut. Then turn your work over and do the same with the threads you find here. Hey presto! Perfect, and no bits sticking out.


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