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Needlepoint Water Stitch

What's a good needlepoint stitch or stitches to use in background water areas?

needlepoint water stitch
There are lots of stitches you can use for water or waves and your choice might depend on a few factors - whether the area is small
or large in relationship to the rest of the design, whether the water is still or has waves, and what distance the water is
from the main focus of the design.

With these things in mind, let's go over some options...

One of the most popular (and obvious) stitches to use for water is a Water Stitch.  

needlepoint water stitch

This is a stitch that's laid down in two stages. Step One ...
needlepoint water stitch

And Step Two completes the stitch ...

needlepoint water stitch
A Water Stitch can be laid down in different lengths and angles.

needlepoint water stitch

It's a stitch that works well for still water of any size or space. It can be stitched in 2 different threads, or if you want to subdue the area
(if there’s lots going on), do it in a single thread. 

Here's a tip: If the water area you are stitching is small when using the Water Stitch make your long stitch over 3, your small stitch a single tent.
Like this...
needlepoint water stitch

If it's a large(ish) area you need to cover make your long stitch over 4 and extend your small stitch to over 2.  Like this...

needlepoint water stitch

Here's another tip: If you want to demonstrate water as it moves to shore – water at a distance is usually still, and it makes waves as it comes to the shore just drop the long stitch one row. This will create a subtle difference in perspective. Like this...

needlepoint water stitch

Both of these methods are used in Julie Mar’s “Shaking off the Sand” (KL 1153). The darker teal is done in one thread across, the lighter teal uses 2 different threads and the drop down method.

shaking Off the Sand needlepoint canvas Julie Mar KL1153

Now for a large area, or very wavy area of water, you can use a Bargello Stitch. This is simply one that moves up and down in a continuous pattern. There are many bold Bargello patterns you could chose from and you'll find free patterns on the web.but for water, I prefer a simple horizontal stitch.

For water we like a single horizontal stitch pattern like this one...

single horixontal bargello stitch

It's easy, quick to stitch and it's effective - especially if you use a change in thread color to define the change in water depth and wave motion.

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needlepoint stitch for water

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