Basic needlepoint instruction, for learning how to complete a needlepoint canvas, is fairly straightforward and we have these instructions right here. However, there are useful tips and ways of doing things to make life easier. That is what this page is all about.
We also ask you to share your needlepoint tips and techniques so that we can deliver the best of the best in terms of tried and true ways of doing things. There is a form at the bottom of the page for you to use. Please share your ideas.
2. Do not run your thread over to a new color area if it is more than one inch away. This will prevent long stretches of thread running across the reverse side of the canvas and getting into a tangled mess. Instead, snip off and start again.
3. Cut your yarn into 12"-18" lengths before you use it. This will avoid you cutting longer and longer yarn lengths as you stitch, which only ends in knots and in some cases shredding of the fiber. If you are using an exotic fiber, like silk, velvet or metallic, cut the lengths even shorter.
4. Hold your canvas up to the light when you have finished stitching it to make sure there are no missed stitches.
5. Use a needlepoint frame only if you feel like it. A frame helps to keep the canvas taut and prevent it distorting, but it is not an essential item. Some people love them, some people....not so much.
6. Slide the needle along the thread every few stitches. This will prevent it wearing down the thread in the one spot.
We know this barely covers all the possible advice and needlepoint instruction out there. Now it's your turn. Please provide us with your favorite needlepoint tips and techniques.
Do you have a great little piece of needlepoint instruction or a tried and true needlepoint tip? Don't keep it to yourself. Share it below!
Condition Your Thread.
I discovered that my yarn tangles less and stays smoother if I pull each piece lightly over a cake of beeswax before I thread the needle. When doing hand sewing, I drag the thread over the wax two or three times. Tapestry yarn only needs a light coat.
Kate, New London.
Method of Shading.
After reading your article on shading, the 3rd way to shade is to let the painted canvas show by using darning stitches or very open stitches. Sometimes you don't want to stitch every stitch of the shaded part of the canvas.
Carla, Rio Verde, AZ
Repair a hole in needlepoint canvas.
I found this set of instructions for how to repair a hole in needlepoint canvas and thought it would be useful for readers to know about. It is on About.Com Needlepoint.
Clear storage bags for threads. A little hint -when my needlepoint kit arrives, I separate the colors and place each color in a "snack size baggie" with the number and name of color on the outside of the bag. And as I can see the color thru the bag it makes needlepointing all the easier to do.
(Lady Lake, USA)
Thread Snip Scissor.
Last month Brenda mentioned methods of ripping out stitches. Here's a dandy little scissor that, should you ever have to remove stitches, does the job as easy as that chore can be. The website is www.keepsakeneedlearts.com"Petit Thread Snips" #80107 $8.95. The one they show seems a little shorter than the one I have. Maybe that's even better. By Jill (Fort Myers. FL )
Frame Above Or Below.
Usually canvas is put face up on top of the stretcher bars or frame. If you reverse this and position your canvas so the front is toward the bars, they will form a wall around the edge of the canvas, with your work area essentially sunken. If you use it this way, the face of your work will be touched less and the back, for starting and stopping threads will be easier to access; this is particularly useful with small pieces.
You do not need to put the item in direct sunlight. I put my wool in a black plastic garbage bag and place this is direct sunlight. The heat is the moth killer. As is extreme cold. Place your item in a plastic bag and place in the freezer. Depending on how cold your freezer is, you may want to leave the item in there for a week.
Avoiding a twisted thread
As you do each stitch roll the needle between your fingers. As you do this the twisted thread will untwist. This avoids having to stop every so often to let the needle dangle and untwist.
How To Make Large Dark Areas Easier To Stitch
When working large areas of dark blue or black holding a piece of white cloth under the work makes seeing the holes much easier. Hold a napkin, or hankerchief or even a washcloth in the hand that you don't use for your needle; light will bounce back off the light surface. A real eye saver!
Hallie, Southeast Florida
What to Do When Your Canvas is Finished