Preparing for a Ruskin Lace (or Reticello) Cutout

If you’ve ever done any Hardanger embroidery, you’re familiar with the idea that cutwork areas need to be “hemmed” with little blocks of satin stitches called kloster blocks. The preparation of a cutwork area for Ruskin lace or reticello is a bit similar, except that it is padded first and that buttonhole stitch is used as the hem.

The first step is to lay down a few long satin stitches along each side of the area that will be cut out. As in this block, there is often a row of four-sided stitches just outside of the square.

CutoutPrep1

On top of those stitches, add a round of buttonhole (or, if you’re being a stickler, closed blanket stitch), with the loop side of the stitches on the inside of the cutwork area.

CutoutPrep2

Then you can fill in the corners with a few straight stitches just to pretty it up a bit.

CutoutPrep3

That’s all there is to getting an area ready for cutting in Ruskin lace and reticello. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got another 11 little boxes to stitch!

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