The Algerian Eye Stitch is also known as the Algerian Eyelet Stitch or the Star Eyelet Stitch. It is used in cross stitch, embroidery, hardanger and plastic canvas projects. An Algerian Eye Stitch has at least eight straight stitches that radiate from a central hole to create a star like pattern inside a square area, which is why is it also called Star Stitch or Star Eyelet Stitch. The basic stitch uses 8 stitches, but can also use up to 16 stitches.
Stitches are evenly spaced and arranged in a square. It can be worked in thick thread on canvas or a thinner thread on even weave fabrics. If worked on even weave fabric, like counted cross stitch fabric, the stitches should be pulled firmly during stitching to create holes, which are the ‘eyes’.
Algerian eye stitch can be worked as a single stitch, in rows to form bands or as an all over pattern fill. In the first sample I used two different styles of Algerian eye stitch in an all over pattern.
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How to embroider the Algerian Stitch
Start by marking squares on your fabric. Pull your needle up on the outside edge of the square and bring it down in the middle of the square.
Bring the needle back up in the middle of a side of the square, and back down in the middle of the square — try to get in the same hole as the first thread in the middle. Pull your thread back out on the middle of the opposite side of the square.
Bring the needle back down in the same hole in the middle of the square, then up in the middle of the last side of the square.
And, back down in the same hole in the middle of the square.
Then add similar stitches but to the outside corner of your square, and back into the middle.
The Algerian eye stitch has at least 8 ‘legs’ to the stitch. You could add another round, if you’d like, for 16 ‘legs’. Variations include going all of the way to the edge of the square, and I made every other one with the 2nd set of stitches not going to the edge of the square.
I used a variegated thread and love this 4″ sampler of the Algerian eye stitch!
This second sample of the Eye Stitch shows how it looks with different threads.
- Row 1: #12 pearl cotton, in an 8 ray stitch
- Row 2: #8 pearl cotton, in an 8 ray stitch
- Row 3: #5 pearl cotton, in an 8 ray stitch
- Row 4: #3 pearl cotton, in an 8 ray stitch
- Row 5: Silk lame braid, in a 16 ray stitch
- Row 6: Craft cord in a 16 ray stitch, taking the 2nd set of 8 stitches smaller
- Row 7: #8 pearl cotton, 8 ray stitch, using 2 different colors
- Row 8: #8 variegated pearl cotton
Here is another sample of the Algerian Eye embroidery stitch using #8 pearl cotton.
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