The cretan stitch is used in hand embroidery to create bands, to fill (any shape – leaves, for example), and it can be worked closed or open, depending on the effect you want.
In this video tutorial for the cretan stitch, I’m working a closed band, vertically from top to bottom. You’ll notice at the end of the video that the band forms a wide, almost-filled strip with a braid-like pattern down the middle of it.
Experiment with the cretan stitch for a different look, especially in creating fillings or decorative edges (for example, in crazy quilting). You can see the cretan stitch used in my “sampler” book cover here. It’s the brighter green, upside-down “V” area towards the base of the first photo.
Here’s the video:
For more video tutorials for hand embroidery, please visit my collection of how-to videos for hand embroidery.