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The Basic Stitches
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The Basic Stitches

The Chinese Staircase Stitch

This is probably the EASIEST Scoubidou Stitch to learn. It is MUCH easier than doing the Square or Circle stitches, and in fact, is simply one-half of a Cobra Stitch. There are two ways you can do the Chinese Staircase. I'll show you one variation here, and will include a link to another way sometime soon. In this variation, you'll use one strand of scoubidou that is 4 to 5 times longer than from 1 to 10 other strands, each of which are the same length. The more strands you use in your center, the FATTER your completed Chinese Staircase will be. In the example given below, I am using four strands. Three of them, a red, white, and blue strand, are each 14 inches long, and a clear strand that is roughly 58 to 60 inches long.

I'm starting this project using 4 strands. The red, white, and blue strands are roughly 14 inches long. This will hopefully insure a FINISHED project length of roughly 1 foot in length. The fourth strand, a clear strand, is roughly FOUR TIMES as long as the other three, which is about 58 to 60 inches long in this case.

The first step is to tie these four strands together using a half-granny knot. (This is the knot you use when tieing your shoes, right before you make the two loops with your shoelaces). Make sure to leave between 1 and 1½ inches of loose strand ABOVE the knot. You'll see why in a little bit...

To start the first stitch, take your working strand, the clear one in this shot, and make a loop OVER the center strands...

...and then go DOWN and UNDER the center strands, as shown here...

...and then complete the stitch by coming UP and THROUGH the loop you made initially.

Pull the working strand tight and your first Chinese Staircase stitch is complete!

Let's try another one, alright? Start by making a loop on TOP of your central strands...

...and then come AROUND BEHIND the center strands and UP THROUGH the loop you made, like this.

One more stitch. Make a loop ON TOP OF your central strands...

...and then go AROUND BEHIND the center strands as you come back UP and THROUGH the initial loop you made.

Here's what the stitch will look like after completing about an inch or so.

Take a break for a second and let's get rid of that UGLY granny knot we started with. We're going to convert the end of this project from using an UGLY knot to using a short piece of Square stitch.

Push the loose strand ends back into the knot to UNTIE the knot.

Use your fingers to pull and stretch these strands back into a straight orientation.

If you wait a minute, you'll see how the four strands WANT to lie, which is good. When laid out this way, can you see what we have planned?

That's right, we're going to do a Square Stitch.

After doing 2 - 3 stitches of Square, do one more stitch, but leave it loose, so that you can do the Completion Stitch.

After returning to the other end of the project, continue doing stitches of Chinese Staircase until your center strands are between 3 and 4 inches long.

Let these strands lay where they may, no pun intended, and then orient them as shown to get ready for the Square stitch.

Which should look similar to this shot, once you've tightened it up a bit.

Again, do 2 - 3 stitches more of Square, followed by one loose stitch. Finish off by doing a Completion Stitch for Square.

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