Breena Necklace and Earrings: Add Dimension with a Padding Cord

The Breena Necklace and Earrings by Kathryn White use an Irish crochet technique called a packing cord (or padding cord) to add dimension to some stitches. Here's a quick tutorial on how this is done.

The padding cord is often a thicker weight of thread than that being used for the project. Here, I've made a small motif with size 20 thread. Cut a length of size 10 thread that measures from your elbow to your wrist, and fold it in half. To join it to your work, slip stitch through the fold of the cord. Typically, your cord will be the same color as your working thread. I've chosen contrasting colors to illustrate the technique. 


Lay the cord along the top of the working row, and continue to work with the main thread, encasing the cord inside your stitches. This is what gives the stitches the extra ridge of texture. You can see that, even with the bright red thread, it is almost completely hidden.

When you are finished with the row or round that is worked over the cord, you can pull the end of the cord to adjust your stitches along it, then trim the cord close to the work. There is no need to weave in the end, as it is already worked through so many stitches. 


You may occasionally see the instruction "work over padding cord in midair" or some variety of that. That typically means that you will join the cord to your beginning slip knot and work your stitches around the cord, without working them directly into any stitch. This is often used for flower stems or scroll work.

It's a fun technique that can be used for more than just thread work. Play around and enjoy! If you make the stunning Breena Necklace and Earrings, be sure to share the pictures with us!

Happy stitching,


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