Shisha stitch (variation 2)
This version of shisha stitch uses buttonhole stitch to form a braided effect.
For alternative methods of working both the base structure and the stitch itself, see shisha stitch variation 1; for a third version of the decorative stitch see shisha stitch variation 3.
Start with a waste knot and make two tiny starting stitches, which will be covered with a circular disc or mirror.
To anchor the mirror, work eight straight stitches in pairs as shown.
Take the last pair of straight stitches under the first pair.
Bring the needle up a little outside of the edge of the mirror. Pass the needle under the grid framework to form a buttonhole stitch.
Take the needle through the fabric.
Bring the needle up inside the loop a little further away from the edge of the mirror.
Pull the thread towards the centre of the mirror to tighten the stitch and then pull back towards the outside of the mirror.
Make another buttonhole stitch and continue as before.
The length of the decorative stitch around the edge is randomly long and short in this example, but you could make all the stitches of the same length if you prefer.
Continue until you reach the starting point.
Take the needle down through the fabric and secure the thread on the reverse.
Structure of stitch
Mary Thomas’s Dictionary of Embroidery Stitches (1934) , p.73
Jean Simpson, Shisha mirror embroidery: a contemporary approach (1978) , p.19