Couching String
When couching string, holding stitches must go from the outside of the string into the centre of the string alternating one side then the other. A double stitch holds the ends secure.

Using purl as a setting for a jewel          (Taken from Issue 12)

This method is seen often in historical costume, it is a good way to conceal the edges of an applied three dimensional shape. Useful as often the stone may have unsightly holes, glue or metal claws.

First get good at cutting purl to the same length! I always line my pieces up side by side like soldiers tallest to the left shortest to the right; this tends to even out their differences to a degree. However, in this case, the purl is to be applied around a circle so care has to be taken not to end up with the shortest next to the tallest. What length purl? I hear you ask. Well, it depends on the circumstances, but longer than you might expect; my pieces were about 5/16 inch or 0.7cm, larger sized purl would need to be longer. 

The needle is brought up through the fabric at a point on an imaginary line that surrounds the jewel. Thread on a piece of purl then go down into the fabric close to the jewel, there should be a loop in the purl (the purl stands away from the surface). 

For the next stitch, the needle is brought up at a point on the imaginary line; one third of the distance along the previous stitch, it goes down close to the jewel the same distance past the first stitch. Continue in this way, proceeding in a similar fashion to that of stem stitch. The final two stitches will be inserted behind the first stitch.

Examples of jewel stones; 6 polished semi precious stones with holes like beads, a number of rhinestones some plastic and some glass in various shapes, polished stones and mother of pearl jewels with flat backs that could be glued. 

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