Saturday, June 5, 2021

A Beginner's Guide to Needlepoint: Running Wild

Basketweave's Done

The little torch ginger sock is done!  Or is it?  Isn't that a snag on the right side of the stocking, in that leaf?

The Snag in Closeup

Yes, it is a loose stitch.  First, I have to fix that.  Luckily, it's easy.  All you need is a bit of Kreinik metallic.  I have a three inch length of size 4 Kreinik braid in my tool box for just this situation.  Thread it into a smallish needle (I used a size 24) but don't put a knot in the end. Put your needle into the same hole as the loosest end of the snag.  

Pull the Kreinik all the way through to the back side.  Kreinik is just rough enough that it will snag your wool thread and pull it along.  You may need to do this more than once, especially with a size 4 braid.  Size 8 would be better but I didn't have any right here, so I used the smaller size 4.  I went through the hole twice with my bit of Kreinik and fixed the snag.  There are specialty tools made to do the same thing but don't bother buying them unless you do a ton of basketweave and snags are an issue.  Better to just fix it with your Kreinik bits and save your money for a pretty skein of silk.

Ok, now the snag Is done but the mini sock looks plain to me, so I found a pink Vineyard Silk the same shade as the tent stitches and added bullion stitches all over the petals to add dimension.  I used Vineyard Silk because the pink Bella Lusso that I tent stitched the petals with is pretty skinny and didn't make nice bullions.  You need a bit of heft for bullions.  

Of course not everyone likes embellished canvases.  It's perfectly fine if you finish the basketweave and continental and stop.  This is a matter of taste and also how the mini sock will be used.  Hung on a tree it'll be fine but if it was to be a gift for a five-year-old that would likely be handled a lot, it's best to stop when the tent stitches are in.  They are a lot more durable than bullions.

If you are curious, here is a video that shows you how to make bullion stitches.  Practice makes perfect and I also recommend wool for bullions.  It just is easier with wool instead of silk or cotton or other types of thread.

 Torch Ginger Sock Done!

So, am I finished?  Nope, I added a stem stitched vein down the middle of each leaf with my dark olive Essentials wool.  I admit it--I'm an embellishment junkie.  Here's Mary Corbet's video on stem stitch, by the way.

I hope new needlepointers found this helpful.  All tent stitch pieces are classics but there's a bit you need to know before you tackle one.

Now that this series to help beginners with common questions on stitching a painted canvas is over, I'll post all the other links here:

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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