Most of us stitch using a "stabbing motion". This means we use our dominant hand to push the needle down through the canvas and then bring our dominant hand to the underside of the canvas to pull the needle through and guide it back to the front. There is a lot of "to-ing and fro-ing" with this method.You can work a continental stitch without moving your hand to the back of the canvas, by using a continuous motion needlepoint stitch. If you are not working on a needlepoint frame then this method of stitching is especially useful, as it maintains an even tension. It's quicker to do, too!
The blue lines represent the stitches and the (1) is where the yarn is coming up from the rear of the canvas of the last continental stitch completed. Keeping your needle at the front of the canvas, poke it down into the top hole for the next stitch (2), and then manoeuvre the canvas so you can bring the tip of the needle out at (3) which is the bottom hole of the stitch you are completing. Pull the needle through and you have completed a stitch in one continuous motion. Repeat and repeat and repeat.....
It is difficult to perform a continuous motion needlepoint stitch if you have your canvas tacked to a frame as it is then too taut to maneuvre. So, this stitch is for those of us who have given up feeling taut and are happy to work 'frameless'.
It's a much quicker way of stitching, so if you're an 'A-type personality' or you're on deadline, then this is a great needlepoint technique to learn.
Click the link for other needlepoint stitch techniques.
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