Blog Page
Tips & Tricks of Compensating Stitches

Tips & Tricks of Compensating Stitches

When you incorporate decorative stitches into your project, there will almost always be a spot where you cannot complete the entire stitch. When this happens, you will need to compensate, or adjust, the stitch to make it fit. We have a few tips and tricks to help you with compensating on your next project! 
First, if you’re able, start a row of decorative stitches in a large, open area on the canvas.  This will allow the stitch pattern to develop and take shape without compensation.  It is always easier to compensate after the stitch pattern is in place because you can fill in above and below your initial line of stitches.
Tip:  Use stretcher bars to maintain tension and keep all of your stitches smooth and even so compensation stitches will fit with ease.
When you get to an area that requires compensation, grab a post-it note and a diagram of your stitch. Place the post-it over the diagram to mimic the area you’re trying to fill on your canvas. This will make your compensation clearly visible.  The stitches will be shorter, but you should follow the same angle to preserve the appearance of the original stitch.
Scotch stitch diagram partially covered by sticky note
Needlepoint canvas with Scotch stitches
Needlepoint canvas with Scotch stitches compensated
If you don’t have a diagram of your stitch handy, you may also lay your thread on top of the canvas from the correct starting point to the correct ending point, as if you would be able to complete the full stitch.  The thread will pass over the area where the compensation stitch needs to end and you will see where the needle should go down creating the shortened stitch and retaining the original angle.
Tip:  It’s okay to use Tent Stitch in lieu of compensation.  Sometimes compensation is awkward and can take away from an element on the canvas, particularly around lettering.
Needlepoint canvas with border partially stitched
You can also try a technique called “ghost stitching.”
Needlepoint canvas depicting ghost stitching technique
Ghost stitches use a single ply of floss to baste decorative stitches over areas that require compensation. You can see ghost stitches in the photo below below the girl’s skirt and around one of her feet. Ghost stitches allow you to continue the stitch pattern across the canvas without any guess work or counting. Afterward, go back with the proper thread, stitch the clearly defined partial stitch and cut away the ghost stitches.  Where the ghost stitches cover an adjacent painted area, you can either remove the stitches or stitch directly over them with the appropriate thread as long as it provides good coverage. 
Needlepoint canvas with Scotch stitches and ghost stitches
Needlepoint canvases with compensated Scotch stitch and ghost stitches
Needlepoint canvas with compensated Scotch stitch
Tip:  Stitch the background pattern first so you don’t have to fit compensation stitches around other delicate areas. In the photo above, you can see how the background is compensated around the girl’s scalloped skirt. It would be more difficult to compensate if the scallops were already stitched in.
Ghost stitches can also be used to mark the start of a decorative stitch when the stitch pattern is interrupted across large areas of the canvas.  For example, if you’re working a vertical stitch across a canvas, you want to be consistent with the placement as your eye travels down the canvas.  Simply baste a single ply of a different color thread from the end of your completed stitch pattern over the canvas and come up in the intersection where the stitch should be picked back up.  Once you begin the decorative stitch in the new area, cut away the single ply thread.
Be aware, certain stitches cannot be compensated, such as knots and looped stitches. For these areas, you will need to select a different stitch or create a smaller version with less thread.
There are many ways to conquer compensation stitches while enhancing a canvas with decorative stitches.  Now that you know how, check out our wide selection of kits with stitch guides to get started today.  Happy stitching!

 

Latest Blog Posts

3 Tips Every Stitcher Needs To Add Texture to a Canvas

3 Tips Every Stitcher Needs To Add Texture to a...

Do you want to add texture for intrigue and dimension? Uncover three essential tips that every stitcher needs to know to add texture to a canvas.

5 Gifts You Can Make With Needlepoint

5 Gifts You Can Make With Needlepoint

All stitchers, including beginners, can create heartfelt gifts to give loved ones to celebrate special occasions, show gratitude, or simply make their day. Consider these five practical gifts you can make with...

Welcome to the New Needlepoint.Com!

Welcome to the New Needlepoint.Com!

Welcome to the new Needlepoint.Com website! We have completely redesigned our online store and added new features to give you the best shopping experience and educational support.

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Lace Stitch

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Lace Stitch

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits!  This video shows you the...

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Alicia's Lace

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Alicia's Lace

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits!  This video shows you the Alicia's...

Hearts for Hospice & Needlepoint.Com Charleston!

Hearts for Hospice & Needlepoint.Com Charleston!

There has been a great resurgence in the popularity of needlepoint. The Charleston location has an endearing tradition of allowing customers to design and stitch heart-shaped canvases that are donated...

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Knitting Stitch

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Knitting Stitch

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits!  This video shows you the Knitting stitch...

Why You Need To Know the Criss Cross Hungarian Stitch Today

Why You Need To Know the Criss Cross Hungarian ...

The criss cross Hungarian stitch creates a highly decorative and dynamic needlepoint design. Uncover why you need to know it and learn more about this stitch today!

A Quick Guide to Self-Finishing Your Needlepoint Canvas

A Quick Guide to Self-Finishing Your Needlepoin...

Self-finishing needlepoint projects can be a creative but tricky process. Uncover further details in our quick guide to finishing your needlepoint canvas.

Check out how we pick our Add on Threads!

Check out how we pick our Add on Threads!

Ever wonder what our different "Add on Threads" option on the website means? Check out this helpful video to show the different types of threads in each category and how...

Personalized Needlepoint Projects: 5 Gift Ideas To Make

Personalized Needlepoint Projects: 5 Gift Ideas...

Uncover personalized needlepoint projects to see which are the best gift ideas to make for friends and family. Get your presents ready in time for Christmas.

Needlepoint for Kids: Showing Your Kids How To Needlepoint

Needlepoint for Kids: Showing Your Kids How To ...

Uncover needlepoint for kids and learn why showing your kids how to needlepoint is simple and fun. Introduce them to a hobby they’ll love forever.

How To Select the Right Canvas for Needlepoint

How To Select the Right Canvas for Needlepoint

Find out how to select the right canvas for needlepoint no matter which project you want to complete. Use these tips and tricks to choose the correct canvas.

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Dot Stitch

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Dot Stitch

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits! 

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Jessica Stitch

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-Jessica Stitch

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert, Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits! 

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-French Knots

Needlepoint To Go Learning Series-French Knots

Welcome to our Summer series of stitches where owner and expert Nancy Young walks you through the most popular stitches in our Needlepoint To Go kits!  This video illustrates variations on the...

5 Basics for Beginners to Learn About Needlepoint!

5 Basics for Beginners to Learn About Needlepoint!

Canvases come in different mesh sizes that correspond to the number of stitches (holes) per inch.  Most common are 10 count, 13 count, 14 count and 18 count mesh.  ...

Threads for your favorite teams!

Threads for your favorite teams!

March Madness-The Big Dance is upon us and it’s time to pick your basketball tournament stitching project. Seasoned sports watchers know, stitching is a fantastic stress reliever for all of...

Top 5 Finishing Questions

Top 5 Finishing Questions

In this blog post we go over the top 5 Finishing questions from our customers to give you a bit more detail on how our process works!

Pick Our Favorite Threads

Pick Our Favorite Threads

When you are shopping for a canvas on our website, you will notice an option to pick threads. The choices are Silk/Silk Blends, Cotton, Wool/Wool Blends or Pick Our Favorites....

When you should use Sparkly Threads!

When you should use Sparkly Threads!

Incorporating Sparkly Threads in your Canvas -Sparkle and metallic specialty threads offer a great opportunity to add some pizzazz to your next canvas.  There are many wonderful options to choose...

Needlepoint Stitches: Basic Stitches for Beginners

Needlepoint Stitches: Basic Stitches for Beginners

The basic needlepoint stitches for beginners are simple to learn. Don’t hesitate to try this fun and exciting hobby that’s starting to trend again.

Behind The Scenes At Needlepoint.Com: Content Creation

Behind The Scenes At Needlepoint.Com: Content C...

Hello! My name is Katy, and I am the Graphic Designer & Product Stylist at Needlepoint.Com. In fact, you see me weekly in your inboxes - our email marketing is...

3 Common Needlepoint Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

3 Common Needlepoint Mistakes & How To Avoid Them

Uncover the most common needlepoint mistakes and how to avoid them. Be aware of ways that your needlepoint projects can become distorted and damaged.

How To Incorporate Needlepoint in Your Home Décor

How To Incorporate Needlepoint in Your Home Décor

Find out how to incorporate needlepoint in your home décor and display your hard work. You can include needlepoint in every aspect of your life.

What To Bring to a Needlepoint Retreat: Beginner’s Guide

What To Bring to a Needlepoint Retreat: Beginne...

Find out what to bring to a needlepoint retreat. This beginner’s guide to needlepoint retreats will help you figure out your first stitching experience.

Needlepoint Kits: What They Include & Their Benefits

Needlepoint Kits: What They Include & Their Ben...

You’re never too old—or young—to get started with needlepoint. If you’re a beginner, starting with a kit will take the guesswork out of completing a project. Knowing what needlepoint kits...

New from Elizabeth Bradley Designs!

New from Elizabeth Bradley Designs!

The Elizabeth Bradley collection of designs is growing with the addition of seven Starter Kits, four Millefleur Kits and a Tips and Techniques Video that you can access anytime at...

All about our Online Classes!

All about our Online Classes!

If you’re new to needlepoint or you’re a visual learner looking to explore new stitches, our online classes are perfect for you. Here’s a few things you need to know…

Differences Between Needlepoint, Cross-Stitch, and Embroidery

Differences Between Needlepoint, Cross-Stitch, ...

Know the differences between needlepoint, cross-stitch, and embroidery. You can start a new hobby anytime you want with the right knowledge.

Cleaning Your Needlepoint: 3 Tips Every Stitcher Should Know

Cleaning Your Needlepoint: 3 Tips Every Stitche...

The key to cleaning your needlepoint tapestry kits is to follow these three tips every stitcher should know. Find out how to clean your needlepoint from home.

A Brief Overview of Needlepoint: What You Should Know

A Brief Overview of Needlepoint: What You Shoul...

Discover a brief overview of needlepoint and what you should know to begin this craft. You don’t need many supplies to try your hand at needlepoint.

New to Needlepoint: A Quick Guide To Getting Started

New to Needlepoint: A Quick Guide To Getting St...

If you are new to needlepoint, a quick guide to getting started will teach you everything you need to know. Uncover the basics about how to do needlepoint.

Creative Wellness: The Health Benefits of Needlepoint

Creative Wellness: The Health Benefits of Needl...

Enjoy the health benefits of needlepoint when you find a group of stitchers: learn new skills and share your art. Find out why needlepoint is good for you.

Tips & Tricks of Compensating Stitches

Tips & Tricks of Compensating Stitches

When you incorporate decorative stitches into your project, there will almost always be a spot where you cannot complete the entire stitch. When this happens, you will need to compensate,...

Millennial Needlepoint: 3 on-Point Projects for 2021

Millennial Needlepoint: 3 on-Point Projects for...

Discover millennial needlepoint: three on-point projects for 2021 you should try. Spice up your home and wardrobe with these trendy needlepoint projects.

All about our Instagram Stitch Alongs!

All about our Instagram Stitch Alongs!

At Needlepoint.Com we strive to keep the needlepoint community connected as best we can! For the past 5 years now we have bee doing our “Sunday Stitch Along '' as...

The Anatomy of a Kit!

The Anatomy of a Kit!

The world of needlepoint is full of thousands of canvases, multiple thread lines, assorted beads, helpful accessories, and curated kits. These kits are designed to remove all guesswork and create...

The Benefits to Buying Canvases with Stitch Guides!

The Benefits to Buying Canvases with Stitch Gui...

When you choose a needlepoint canvas, you probably imagine what it will look like completely stitched. Some people like to experiment with stitches as they go, while others like to...

Go Big or Go Small… Needlepoint To Go has the right sized project for you!

Go Big or Go Small… Needlepoint To Go has the r...

The Needlepoint To Go line of kits is expanding this month with five more designs coming out just in time for beach and poolside stitching. You’ll enjoy these precision stitch printed canvases...

A look inside Needlepoint.Com!

A look inside Needlepoint.Com!

Like many people who used the past year to clean out closets, we spent some time improving the shop . The most notable change is the drastic increase of our...

All about the Merry Wishes Tree

All about the Merry Wishes Tree

The Merry Wishes Tree is a spectacular example of the artistic collaboration between Vernon Kirk and Nancy Young. Vernon, of Kirk and Bradley Design, and Nancy of Needlepoint.Com, have been...

The story behind the Kirk & Bradley Travel Rounds!

The story behind the Kirk & Bradley Travel Rounds!

You may be familiar with one of our favorite lines from designer Kirk & Bradley, the travel rounds!  Their design team formulated this idea back in 2015. Debuting with Rome, Paris,...

New Needlepoint To Go-Gambit Chess Board Colors!

New Needlepoint To Go-Gambit Chess Board Colors!

Many new and seasoned stitchers made it a goal in 2020 to stitch 20 new projects. While we were all stitching the days away in the comfort of our home,...

Pantone Color of the Year!

Pantone Color of the Year!

Pantone is breaking the norm for a second time by choosing a color combination for its Color of the Year. Ultimate Gray and Illuminating will both be taking the esteemed...

2020 at Needlepoint.Com!

2020 at Needlepoint.Com!

...Since the painters are having trouble keeping up with demand, we pushed our tech team to perfect a stitch-printing service that had been in the works for five years. Working...

Meet Kelly- the artist behind Alice and Blue

Meet Kelly- the artist behind Alice and Blue

Meet Kelly- the artist behind Alice and Blue. We are fortunate enough to have her designs for a trunk show this month at Needlepoint.Com. Click here to view her collection and...

A guide to our free resources!

A guide to our free resources!

Whether you are a lifelong stitcher or just starting on your needlepoint journey, there is something for everyone at Needlepoint.Com. When you buy a new project, it is important to...

All about Needlepoint To Go!

All about Needlepoint To Go!

Needlepoint.Com is thrilled to introduce our brand new kit line, Needlepoint To Go.  This beautiful and affordable collection is available exclusively at Needlepoint.Com.

The must have stand for the new year!

The must have stand for the new year!

The System 4 stand series are a must have for any needlepointer! They are without a doubt the highest quality stands on the market. We can’t get enough of them...