Cable one, Trellis two
You have seen it at the top every time you open my blog. My Christmas gift to all my smocking friends:
Cable one, Trellis two, a free smocked Christmas Tree Ornament Design
Pleated panel, 4” X 44” makes two ornaments, Imperial batiste
Embroidery Floss, 2 complimentary colors such as DMC 666 and 702
Smocking needle (I prefer an 8 crewel)
2” foam ball
1 yard ¼” double-faced satin ribbon to coordinate with floss or fabric
2 straight pins, head colored to match the floss or fabric or ribbon
Pleat 9 full space Rows.
Pleat all half spaces in white thread.
On Rows 1 and 9, thread the needle with both white and colored thread. You will leave the white thread in to construct the ornament.
Tie gathering threads off long enough to comfortably wrap around your ball.
All smocking is with 3 strands of floss except the French knots use 6 strands.
This design covers 72 pleats.
Leave the floss tail dangling at the far end of each pass. Do NOT tie off!
The tails are used to construct the ball in the seamless manner, smocking in the round.
Skip the last stitch of each sequence. This will be put in place during ball construction.
For instance, instead of trellising 2, you will only trellis one stitch, in the proper place. The second stitch will be placed when we smock in the round to complete the sequence.
R1. Leave unsmocked, This Row will be a guide for trimming away excess fabric depending on the size of your ball. It will be tied off as part of ball construction.
R1.5 Pleated with white gathering thread. Leave in place, as you will need this for construction. * **
R2. Stem stitch.
Hint: a flower’s Stem is BELOW the flower. Cast the floss under the needle with each stem stitch
R3. Cable one, trellis two! Begin with 1 under cable on R3. Trellis 2 quarter steps up to R2.5. Over cable 1 on R2.5. Trellis 2 quarter steps down to R3. Repeat across this entire Row.
LATER: Fill in additional waves to occupy the empty space as shown in the picture.
R5.5. Cable 1, trellis 2. This consists of two passes: one pass worked up to R 5, the other down to R6 forming the diamond base row of the trees.
a. For the lower pass: Over cable 1 on R5.5. Trellis 2 quarter steps down to R6. Under cable 1 on R6. Trellis 2 quarter steps up to R5.5. Over cable 1 on R5.5 and so on.
b. For the upper pass of this base row: Under cable 1 on R5.5. Trellis 2 quarter steps up to R5. Over cable 1 on R5. Trellis 2 quarter steps down to R5.5. Under cable 1 on R5.5 etc.
The tree tops are stitched and tied off with each pass.
Begin smocking the first tree upper section on the first cable on R5, adding 3 waves, then 2 waves and a final single wave for each tree.
Note the open wave between trees.
Top each tree with a single French knot using 6 strands of floss.
R7. Two passes of the cable 1, trellis 2 combination, one worked half way above R7, the other half below R7.
a. Begin with 1 over cable on R 6.5. Trellis 2 quarter steps down to R7. Under cable 1 on R7. Trellis 2 quarter steps up to R6.5. One over cable etc.
b. Begin with an under cable on R 7.5. 2 quarter step up to R7. One over cable on R7. Trellis 2 quarter steps down to R7.5.
c. Fill in one half-space wave combination in red or green under the center of each tree.
R8. Outline stitch.
Hint: Outline, the floss is cast Over the needle with every stitch.
R8.5 Pleat with white gathering thread for construction.
R9. Leave unstitched for use in construction and as a guideline for trimming excess fabric.
Remove all gathering threads EXCEPT!!!! R1, R1.5, R8.5 and R9.
One by one, place the final stitch in each sequence. Start at the middle of the Rows with the green floss on R5.5.
- Thread the tail from the upper pass.
- Forming a tube shape, bring the tail around from the end of the Row to the beginning of the Row. Place the last trellis stitch in the valley of the first cable.
- Repeat for the lower pass of this diamond sequence.
- Leave these tails hanging for now!
- Once all the tails are wrapped around to the beginning of each pass, ~GENTLY~ turn the tube inside out.
- One by one rethread each tail. Gently tug at each last stitch to ‘pop’ it into position.
- Tie off each tail in this manner, one by one.
You now have a tube shape with gathering threads at the top and bottom.
Gently slide the ball form into the tube, centering it on the design.
Trim excess fabric at the top and bottom of the ball using the gathering threads as guidelines. Leave 3-4 threads of the fabric at the outer edge. Be sure to not cut the gathering threads while trimming fabric!
Remove the colored thread from R1 & R9, leaving the white thread.
Pull the gathering threads tight and tie off on R1, R1.5, R8.5 and R9.
The goal is to have the pleats lay flat against the ball.
There will be a slight opening at the top and bottom. Openings will be covered with ribbon.
Hint: I need a spare hand to tie off the gathering threads. I enlist the help of my husband or hold the ball in between my knees so I can use both hands. I like to use the eye of a needle to draw the gathering threads down as close and tight as possible to the ball like a finger holding a bow in place.
Ribbon: cut the ribbon into sections. Cut one piece the size of the loop you want for hanging. I recommend 6” for this size ball. Cut the remaining ribbon into 6 equal parts. Fold each ribbon into figure 8 loops, 3 for the bottom and 3 for the top. Stick a straight pin through the (hanging loop first) 3 loops and stick into the ball. A dab of glue will guarantee security for the ribbon.
*This design will fit a two-inch foam ball. I prefer the hard ones. After several Christmases, the soft foamy (Styro-foam brand) ones are pretty squished from packing and the occasional misstep on an ornament fallen to the floor. Don’t ask… trust me on this one.
**Spacing of pleater rows is closer together on 16R pleaters than 24R pleaters. This causes differences as to how much fabric will be trimmed away to fit the ball.
You can choose any two colors to fit your décor. This particular version is DMC 666 and 702. Use darker colors for a richer look or even lime green and hot pink for the preppy crowd! No limit to the imagination for this one!
Merry Christmas and Happy Smocking to all my readers!