New to Needlepoint
CUTTING YOUR THREAD
Cut one strand from the skein of cotton and it is ready to be threaded into your needle. We suggest cutting your thread so that it is the length of your finger to your elbow.
THREADING YOUR NEEDLE
To thread your needle, fold the thread over the needle in between your thumb and index finger. Pinch the end of your thread so that it is folded over onto itself. Remove the needle from between the thread. Take the folded thread and push it through the eye of the needle.
Another option is to push the end of the thread through the eye of the needle.
If the end of the thread has frayed, twist it to make it tighter and eliminate the fray before pushing it into the eye of the needle.
STARTING YOUR THREAD
Tie a knot in the end of the thread farthest from the eye of the needle. This is called a “waste knot.” Place the waste knot on top of your canvas, by sinking your needle down into the canvas from front to back. You will want to place the waste knot roughly an inch away from where you plan to start stitching. Starting your thread is the only time you will work on the front of your canvas. From this point on, when stitching, you will come up from the bottom and go down from the top.
As you begin stitching, you will stitch over the “tail” of the waste knot (the thread on the back of the canvas). This will lock your thread to the canvas.
Once you have stitched up to the waste knot on the front of the canvas, cut the waste knot off the front of the canvas. Be careful not to cut the canvas itself!
ENDING YOUR THREAD
Once you have finished stitching a particular area, or your thread has become too short, you will need to end your thread.
Flip your canvas over so that you are looking at the back. With the needle and thread on the back of the canvas, run your needle through the previously placed stitches. Trim off the excess thread with embroidery scissors.
STARTING ANOTHER THREAD
(A WASTE KNOT ALTERNATIVE)
Once you have a substantial area of canvas stitched, there is no need to do a waste knot. You can start your thread by running it under four or five of your previously placed stitches in the same way that you learned to end your thread.
Repeat this action a second time in order to really lock the thread in before you begin stitching.
Continental Stitch is a basic needlepoint stitch. It is worked in horizontal rows of Tent Stitches*. Pay attention to the numbering on the stitch diagram below.
*Tent Stitches refers to any stitch that looks like the above diagram. It is a simple stitch that can be used anywhere on your canvas.
Basketweave Stitch is also made up of Tent Stitches. The only difference is the pattern in which you work the stitches.
Begin by closely looking at your canvas. Illustrated below you will see the “poles” and “steps” in the weave of the canvas. In Basketweave you will want to “slide down the poles and step up the steps.” In other words, work down in a diagonal line on the “pole” intersections of the canvas, and work up a diagonal line on the “step” intersections of the canvas.