There are three ways of doing what is essentially this one basic needlepoint stitch, and they only look different on the "wrong" side of the canvas. We tell you how to do all three because you might interchange them a bit when you are working a project.
Basic Needlepoint Stitches - How To
First, some general advice on basic needlepoint stitches:
- We recommend that you start by stitching the smallest areas of color first. By this we mean the areas on your design that are the most detailed. Most people stitch the canvas color by color (changing to a different color when they get bored!), starting with the smallest areas first.
- When you get to larger areas of color, you will get the best results if you use basketweave stitch (instructions for the basic needlepoint stitches are below). Start this stitch in the top right hand corner of the colored area.
- When you have patches of the same color that are close to each other e.g. within a half inch, you can carry the thread across to the adjacent area. Needlepoint purists might frown upon this, but we do it all the time and our designs look just fine. It really depends upon how fussy you want to be, and how neat you want the back of the canvas to look. If the color areas are farther than about one half inch apart, you will need to snip the yarn off (having secured it behind some stitches as discussed below) and start again.
- If the edges of your canvas are not taped, we recommend you tape your needlepoint canvas to prevent it from fraying and the threads from catching.
Regardless of the needlepoint stitch you are using, start off by securing the thread onto the canvas. Now, a needlepoint purist would tell you never to tie a knot. Thankfully, we are not needlepoint purists and that is why you love us. Knot away we say. Here's how:
- Cut off a length of thread, around 18 inches is good.
- Thread your needle (wetting the end of the yarn always helps the threads stick together so you can achieve this task).
- Make a knot at the end of the yarn.
- Starting on the "good" side of the canvas, a few holes along from where you will place your first stitch, take the needle down to the "wrong" side. The knot will be visible on the "good" side of the canvas as in the photo above. When you start stitching you will work toward this knot and your stitches will have covered the thread behind and held it in place so it doesn't pull out. When you reach the knot you can snip it off.
Basic Needlepoint Stitches - Securing The Thread End
When you need to change color, or move to a different area of the canvas, or you have used up the yarn and need to re-thread the needle, you will need to snip off the thread you have been using. However, you can't just leave it dangling or the stitches will loosen. When you have stitched the last stitch, with the needle on the "wrong" side of the canvas, slide it through the back of 3-4 nearby stitches. This will take the thread behind these stitches and it will be secure. Cut the thread close to where the needle emerges so the canvas looks neat.
for more instructions and tips for starting and ending a needlepoint thread.