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Double leviathan stitch icon
Double leviathan stitch

Double leviathan stitch main image

This canvaswork stitch is formed by multiple cross stitches which together form a textured star which fills a square area of canvas.  It consists of a large diagonal cross stitch each part overlaid with a diagonal version of oblong cross stitch and then finally a large upright cross stitch.  It is a more elaborate version of double cross stitch (also known as leviathan stitch) and a simpler version of treble leviathan stitch.

Some authors align the stars to form a grid pattern; others offset them by half the width of a star, either vertically or horizontally.

The stitch was used in Berlin wool work and first appears in print in the 1880s.

Double Leviathan stitch is generously sponsored by Merrilyn Heazlewood, Australia, in dedication of all her international students and supporters

Method

If you are offsetting the stars, work half a stitch at the start of the offset row or column.  One version of the stitch omits the horizontal oblong cross stitch, in which case it recommends working a long straight stitch between the stars to cover the canvas.

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1

Create a diagonal stitch from bottom right to top left over four intersections.

2

Complete the cross with an similar stitch from bottom left to top right.

3

Create another diagonal stitch by bringing the needle up one thread to the left of the bottom right corner of the stitch and take it down one thread to the right of the top left corner.

4

Create another diagonal stitch by bringing the needle up one thread below the top left corner and take it down one thread up from the bottom right corner.

5

Create another diagonal stitch by bringing the needle up one thread to the left of the top right corner and take it down one thread right from the bottom left corner.

6

Create another diagonal stitch by bringing the needle up one thread below the top right corner and take it down one thread above the bottom left corner.

7

Work a vertical stitch from bottom to top.

8

Work a horizontal stitch from right to left.

9

Repeat the stitch in the same order to create a pattern.
Each stitch can be worked directly below on subsequent rows or they can be offset.

Double leviathan stitch

Common uses

Embroidery Techniques

Identifying Double leviathan stitch

This stitch consists of four overlaid cross stitches which together fill a square of 5x5 holes.  Algerian eye stitch variation is a superficially similar stitch where rather than crossing the area, the threads are taken down through the centre of the stitch.

References

  • Jennifer Campbell, Ann-Marie Bakewell, Guide to Embroidery Stitches (2004) , p.199
  • S. F. A. Caulfeild, Blanche C. Saward, The Dictionary of Needlework (1882) , p.30-1