Friday, June 4, 2021

A Beginners Guide to Needlepoint: Outlines in Continental

I promised to talk about how I plan to stitch the darker red outlines of my torch ginger petals today.  Short version:  I'm using continental stitch for the darker red outlines and then filing in the lighter pink of the petals with basketweave.  Above is a close up of the unstitched stocking where you can see each petal is outlined in a darker color.  

Long version:  Remember when I said there are three types of tent stitch?  They are basketweave, continental and half cross.  They all look the same on the front--rows of even ///// stitches.  But on the back they are very different because of how that / stitch is formed. 

You can see photos that show all three stitches, front and back here.  (Click on the photo to see a larger version.)

Basketweave uses the most thread and half cross the least, so save half cross for when you are running low on thread but avoid it if you need something that will take hard wear like a footstool or glasses case.  Half cross will also distort the canvas badly.  

Basketweave does not distort the canvas so use it when you don't plan to block a finished design.  I've done pillows in continental that were parallelograms when done that had to be blocked four times to get them square again!  Basketweave uses a lot of thread so it's very hard wearing, perfect for items that will get wear.  Just make sure you buy enough thread so you don't run out.  

Continental is perfect for canvases with lots of outlines.  That's what I plan to use for the red outlines on the petals since it's easy to work both horizontally or vertically.  Here is how continental is done, whether you are right-handed or a leftie.

Now I need to get busy and finish the stitching!  Above is my progress to date.

Now that this series has all published, I put the other links here:

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