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Elizabethan knitting stitch icon
Elizabethan knitting stitch

This stitch is made up of alternating columns of slanted stitches which produce a chevron effect.  There is an Elizabethan stitch called reverse stitch which is made up of similar stitches slanting in a single direction; this will feature in a future RSN Stitchbank release.

We are indebted to Jacqui Carey for her work in identifying this stitch in extant Elizabethan pieces, and diligent documenting of the working method.  See the References sections for details of her books which describe this and many other Elizabethan stitches.  N.B. the names used are descriptive names assigned by Jacqui Carey as historic records do not give us the names by which they were known.


Elizabethan knitting stitch is generously sponsored by Rosalind Grant Robertson for my mother Elizabeth Peacock Pochin née Higgs, who smocked all my dresses and started me stitching before I was three



Working from the base up, complete a diagonal stitch from bottom right to top left (two threads up and one thread left).


Bring your needle up one thread to the right and one thread down and repeat the stitch.
Continue upwards to complete the first column.


To start the next column, bring the needle up two threads to the right.


Produce a mirror image by working back down the adjacent column with stitches oriented top left to bottom right.


To begin working back up the next column, bring the needle up two threads to the right. Then work the diagonal stitch bottom right to top left.


Continue to fill the space.

Elizabethan knitting stitch

Structure of stitch

Common uses

Embroidery Techniques

Related Stitches

Identifying Elizabethan knitting stitch

The modern version is normally worked over four horizontal threads so the stitch is length double that of the Elizabethan version.


  • Jacqui Carey, Elizabethan Stitches - a guide to historic English needlework (2012) , p.26