Seed Stitches

I thread
the needle and
spirit passes into
matter returning to
the center of
the (w)hole

I twine
the floss around
the needle—one two three–
casting strands into knots
spelling rhythmic

I pause
to connect what
lies hidden below the
coiled surface—roots binding
up and down to

The Kick-About prompt this time was The Ashley Book of Knots, below. It’s been a long time since I did any macrame, but I love to embroider, entranced by everything about it–the floss itself, the color and texture, the rhythmic and repetitive motions that are so like meditation, the gradual revelation of something new.

I’ve done a lot of embroidery on paper, but I couldn’t remember ever trying French Knots, also called Seed Stitch. My mandala papers are fairly sturdy, so I painted one, inspired by Monet, and searched through my embroidery floss boxes for similar colors.

Besides their practical and decorative uses, knots can symbolize many things, from the vows of marriage, to a puzzle to be solved. They are connected to threads of all kinds, and thus the interweavings that form and support all of life.

The French Knot is a simple stitch–wind the floss 3 times around the needle and reinsert it into the hole made by bringing the thread to the surface–but like many simple things, it’s easy to become tangled up if you aren’t paying attention. Something that applies to all creative endeavors involving fibers.

I’ve used the Badger’s Hexastitch form for my poem.

28 thoughts on “Seed Stitches

  1. Casting strands and spells! Your artwork here is stunning.
    And I liked your comment:
    “like many simple things, it’s easy to become tangled up if you aren’t paying attention. Something that applies to all creative endeavors involving fibers.”
    I’d say all creative endeavors–and maybe life itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this post, the poem, the info, the wonderful images. A feast! I used to love embroidering when I was a teen. I had forgotten that. Thanks for reminding me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such beautiful, colourful creativity, Kerfe in your poem and your works of art. Your love of art and craft shines through. It is also instilled with the spirit of Zen: ‘returning to the center of the (w)hole’, ‘spelling rhythmic patterns’, and the connections between surface and root. I also enjoyed your explanation of the knot in embroidery.


    1. Thanks Kim. The fiber arts are traditionally considered women’s contribution to creation, so it’s natural they would be associated with the life cycle and it’s many connecting threads. Roots, webs, spells.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Weaving is an art of Brigid, whose festival is Tuesday (Sarah will lead the prompt at earthweal) — To me this poem comes across as the patient meditation of repetition into pattern and the tapestry which results. One, two, three.


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