Also known as: crewel stitch, stalk stitch, point de cable
Through my research, I found out that stem stitch is crewel stitch. It is one of the easiest to be done and perhaps even one of the first stitches to be taught to any beginner. But, many times, people often refer to embroidery work itself as crewel work, though the actual crewel stitch (stem stitch) is never as commonly employed in it! This creates a bit of a confusion on if crewel work consists of only crewel stitch (stem stitch).
Let us now get to the procedure. To make the logic clearer for stem stitch, I have drawn a temporary stitch line with a pencil. A stitch line is through which all stitches will be running. Now, note that all the stitch points in stem stitch will fall ON the stitch line. I will be working this stitch from left to right. This instruction is for right handed learners.
So, the unique feature of stem stitch is that, when you work from left to right, the needle will be brought out from the TOP of each previous stitch. In case you work from top to bottom, the needle and thread will come out through the RIGHT side of each previous stitch. This feature is what makes stem stitch unique from the others in its family. 🙂