I’m sure you were thinking that I only knew how to waffle stitches! I confess, I love waffle stitches. But I also really like lots of other stitches as well! For today’s next step in Harlequin Dance Redux, we’ll do some Rhodes stitches.

Click here for Harlequin Dance Redux B instructions

For the Rhodes stitches I selected two different types of ribbons. One is a rayon ribbon, Rainbow Gallery Neon Rays N15 Rose Pink. The other is a metalized ribbon, Rainbow Gallery FyreWerks FT9 Rose. Of course you can use a different thread if you like, but I like how larger Rhodes stitches look in a ribbon. I used FyreWerks because I didn’t have a Neon Rays+ in the right color. Both FyreWerks and Neon Rays+ are metalized ribbons, and about the same width, so I use them interchangeably. It took about 40″ of each thread to stitch the Rhodes squares.

I use a mini-flat iron to iron my ribbons before stitching. It removes all the kinks from being carded, and makes them a bit easier to handle. I don’t do anything else to them, just smooth them out with the flat iron. Note: this mini-flat iron is part of my needlework kit, not part of my beauty routine! If you try to use your regular flat iron, that you’ve used on your hair, you run the risk of transferring product to your threads, which isn’t a good look! I bought an inexpensive mini-flat iron, no features other than on/off, and keep it with my other tools.

Rhodes stitches

The Rhodes stitches are the same size, 8 x 8 canvas threads each, and the same square shape as the waffle stitches. I love the hot pink with the orange, a color combination that always makes me happy.

If you look closely you can see that the last stitch of the Rhodes stitches is the true vertical stitch. I always diagram my Rhodes stitches so the final stitch is the true vertical, true horizontal or true diagonal; I like it much better than the “off-kilter” final stitch usually diagrammed for Rhodes stitches. To accomplish this, my diagrams begin a little off-center:

Rhodes square

It takes a little counting, but I think you’ll be pleased with the final look.

Here’s where the Rhodes stitches are in relationship to the waffle stitches:

Rhodes stitches with waffle stitches

I ended off by gently separating the threads of the Rhodes stitches, and taking a pin stitch over a single canvas thread two times. Two times is enough for ending off since there won’t be any tension on the threads going forward. Also, I usually snip off from the front as close to the canvas as I can get without snipping the threads of the stitches, but for these ribbons I recommend snipping off on the back side of the canvas. Neon Rays is a devilish thread that doesn’t want to do what I want it to do, and when I snipped off from the front it had the audacity to fray a bit. It won’t be as noticeable if you snip off on the back side. Also, if it is really recalcitrant, I put a little dab of fabric glue on it on the back side, just to keep it in place.

Enjoy!