Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Five Tips for A Successful Needlepoint Project

When I ran across this posting from a new stitcher listing the five tips she learned from her first needlepoint project, it got me thinking. What are the five most important stitching tips I've learned Ifrom my decades of needlepointing?

Here's my list:

  1. Wash your hands before you start stitching and repeat this periodically during a long stitching session.
  2. Discard your needles from the last project when you start a new project.
  3. Pay careful attention to starting and ending threads.
  4. Choose classic projects you will not tire of and stitch them with the best materials you can find.
  5. Never stitch when you are really tired.

What are your tips?

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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  1. Always good reminders. Handwashing is always first on my list, too.
    1) When stitching with silks, or with any fiber that may snag, "scrub" your hands first with about a tsp each of olive oil & sugar, then wash with soap & warm water as usual - it will smooth off any rough spots on your fingertips & cuticles. (You probably won't need to do this often if your nails are regularly manicured.)
    2)Be mindful of the order in which you stitch lights & darks, to avoid transferring fuzz & unsightly shadows from behind.
    Please enlighten me, Jane - why do you routinely discard needles at the end of a project? I've never heard this before. Most stitchers I know continue to use a needle unless it's bent or the eye is somehow damaged.

    1. Cindy, I have two reasons for this. The first is I read an article by Amy Bunger in the old NP News eons ago that recommended this. She said most stitchers use their needles far too long. The second is that I have acid hands which rapidly tarnishes my needles. They will last for about 4-6 weeks of stitching every night before the damage is very noticeable. Needles are relatively cheap so I toss mine after each project ends and start with brand new ones.