Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Creating Plaid in Needlepoint UPDATED

Creating your own plaid pattern in needlepoint can be quite interesting and fun. Chottie Alderson was the first to describe an easy way to create a plaid pattern on needlepoint canvas with tent stitches.  This is a brief explanation of how Chottie's Plaid is made.

Here is a more elaborate plaid, also done in Chottie's Plaid stitch.

ANG's diagram of Chottie's Plaid is drawn from Chottie's own information.


UPDATE:  Sorry, ANG has totally cut off access to their Stitch of the Month diagrams except for 2017's information.  You can only see this if you are an ANG member.  This is totally crazy in my opinion.  How on earth do you recruit new members if you don't let anyone see what you offer?!  If you are an ANG member or potential member and would like to protest this, you may email ANG's management company here.

There doesn't appear to be any way of contacting ANG's officers directly.


What you are doing is filling an area in skip tent stitch using the colors you want for your plaid.  Let's say you want a blue and orange checkerboard effect with a thin black dividing line between the two main colors of blue and orange.  Then you will do 7 rows of blue, one row of black, 7 rows of orange and one of black, then work 7 blue rows again and repeat the sequence until the area is covered with skip tent.

When the entire space you want to be plaid is covered in skip tent, you turn the canvas 90 degrees so that the top is now on the left or right side (doesn't matter which), and fill in the empty canvas threads in the same color sequence—which in this case is 7 blue rows, 1 black row, 7 orange rows, 1 black row, repeat.

How do you figure out the rows and colors?  That's something you have to work out in your mind or on graph paper.  However, there is something called a birthday plaid that does the sequence for you.

First, pick your colors.  Let's do purple, pink, lime and turquoise this time.  Now choose a birthdate, your phone number, the street address or zip code, etc.  Any number sequence will do.  I will choose 72180.  Now I will work 7 rows of purple, 2 of pink, 1 of lime, and eight of turquoise.  When you come to zero in your sequence you can drop it or do ten rows.  I don't want 17 rows of purple so I will drop the zero and just work 7218.  The fun is you won't know what the plaid will look like until you have the entire skip tent done with the canvas upright and you have some rows of the second skip tent sequence done with the canvas turned on its side.

I do recommend you limit your colors to 4-5.  That makes for a more coherent plaid pattern.  I also think alternating wide bands of color with narrow ones makes for a more pleasing design.  If you want help, look for Marion Pakula's book on plaids…

…or try to find Chottie Aldersen's Chottie's Plaid 1 and Chottie's Plaid 2.

You may find Donna's Halloween spider plaid fun.

Here are the EGA free project instructions that Donna used.

This makes a really fun teaching project for kids who want to master the tent stitch.  They can pick their color and numbers, then fill in a shape that can be made up into a quick ornament or coaster if you use plastic canvas and glue felt on the back side.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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 Copyright October 9, 2017 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.