Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Basketweave on a Stick Tutorial

Computer Pixie Underway (Canvas by Ruth Schmuff)

My Computer Pixie canvas from Bedecked and Beaddazzled is coming right along.   Last night I stitched her pony tail using Basketweave on a Stick and thought you'd like to see how this stitch is done.  I decided to change the Pixie's hair color to light brown, ecru and cream, using Caron's Impressions for the ecru and cream and a brown Felicity's Garden.   All three threads are silk-wool blends which I think create perfect hair texture.

Basketweave on a Stick is done just like regular basketweave except you stitch over a stick of some sort every other row.  Since I need something smooth (don't want to snag the threads) and long (have to cover the area to be stitched), I used a doll makers' needle.  These are thin but long.  The needle I choose is four inches in length.  I bought a selection of these at a big box crafts stores eons ago and use them periodically.    Here is what the sets are like in case you want to pick up a set.

Row Two Underway

The steps for Basketweave on a Stick are simple.

Row One--Stitch a row of basketweave as usual.
Row Two--Lay your "stick" along the diagonal row you will be stitching and do basketweave over the raised item.  Leave the stick in position.
Row Three-Stitch as usual.  Once you are done with Row Three, slide your needle or straw or whatever out from under Row Two.
Row Four--Lay your stick down over the diagonal row you will be stitching.  Now do basketweave over the raised item.
Repeat Rows Three and Four until your area is covered with stitches.

It isn't always easy to see where the stitches go or what color you are supposed to use if you are doing this in a shaded area like I was.  Wiggle the "stick" slightly to glimpse the holes and painted colors.  It helps to use a long stick as it makes wiggling easier.

In the progress photo above, you can see I'd skipped a stitch over the needle. I did all the ecru stitches first and need to go back and add a cream highlight here.  Also note that I covered the painted antenna with my stitches.  It will be couched into position on top of the hair later.  The needle parked on the magnet is a regular size 18 tapestry needle, to give you some idea of how large doll makers' needles are.

Basketweave on a Stick is a good substitute for French knots if you hate making those.  I am not sure it is a good substitute for uncut turkey work as it isn't as dense as turkey work is.  (It all depends on the effect you want, of course.)  You do need to pay attention so you don't accidentally skip one row hidden by your stick.

This stitch is probably easiest to do on 13 count in an area without shading, like a big fat white sheep.  You can use anything for a stick--a plastic straw, a large needle, a laying tool, a pencil, etc.  The size of the loops you are creating will vary according to the diameter of your "stick" so choose wisely.  Also avoid anything like a toothpick that might snag your threads unless you smooth it with fine sandpaper first.

Curly Pony Tail

Here's the end result.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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© Copyright February 8, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.


  1. Ab fab, Jane! I don't stitch people too often, but I'm certainly going to remember this to use some day.

    1. It'll make great sheep or the perfect curly haired angel. It's fun, too. I like trying out new stitches, even if I love doing French knots.

  2. You did a great job with the stitch. The only time I have used it was on a fluffy, multicolored dog. It was difficult!

    1. It's hard when you have to change colors. But it looks great and if one HATES French knots, it isn't a bad substitute.

  3. This is wonderful! What a great idea I will have to use too!

    1. It is a fun stitch. Just don't watch an exciting sports event or suspenseful movies while doing it....

  4. That's a great tutorial, Jane. Thanks!