TIPS ON BEGINNING

ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE HANDLING EITHER THE CANVAS OR THE FIBERS. DIRT FROM YOUR HANDS WILL EASILY AND QUICKLY ACCUMULATE ON EVERYTHING YOU TOUCH!

Needle Choice: Refer to the drawing, as needles are selected according to the particular mesh of the canvas to be used for each project. The proper needle will fall down into the hole of your canvas and catch at the eye of the needle, or fall all the way through. If the needle is patted or pushed down into the hole, the needle has made the canvas holes displace, disturbing the weave of the canvas. This will cause uneven stitches and warping of the canvas.

Thread Lengths: Working thread lengths should be 18 to 20 inches or, as an easy measure, from the tip of your middle finger to the bend of your elbow. Long threads wear the nap off and get too thin as a result of passing through the canvas holes too many times. The only exception to this rule is when Bargello or Florentine (long) stitches are to be used. (Note: Even for experienced stitchers, somehow the thread is never long enough to do the last two stitches in the row! It makes no difference if the beginning thread was 6 inches long or 6 miles long!)

Threading: The short length of the fiber that goes through the eye of the needle should not be any longer than two inches. All threads wear and get frizzy at the needle's eye from pulling through the rough canvas. (Using long threads and sliding the needle along is not acceptable because soon you will stitch the frizzy part of the thread, which results in a weak, or roughened, worn stitch.)

Starting: It is always better to stitch small design areas first, then the larger areas. They may be stitched simultaneously if the areas are well divided. White wools should be stitched first (if possible) so that hairs of fiber from darker colors will not become tangled in with the white.

Return to The Needlepoint Group Project Index Page
©1995 TNG