Friday, March 1, 2024

How to Compensate

Unless you are doing needlepoint in all tent stitches, sooner or later you'll have to adjust your stitch at the edge of an area.  Many people find this compensation confusing, so I thought I'd assemble all the great minds who've given us help on compensation in one place.  Read through the links to find the article that makes the most sense to you.

Ruth Schmuff makes compensation look easy in this article about flower stitches.

Sandy Arthur takes an analytical approach in this "Tips to Treasure" article at the bottom of her blog.

Abigail Cecile just places her needle in the hole she should go if the area hadn't been cut off, then backs up into the correct area.  She's doing what Sandy does, just with less thinking.  

Amy Bunger taught Steph to cover her stitch diagram with a sticky note to figure out what to do.

Besides Amy's paper cover trick over the diagram, uses what they call ghost stitches.  Ghost stitches are a thin thread in a contrasting color stitched over the area where the compensation occurs.  Because the thread is thin, you can see the paint underneath.  This helps you figure out how to compensate the stitch at the edge of an area.  Take a photo, rip out the ghost stitches and using the photo as a guide, stitch with the usual thread with the stitch truncated to fit.

Melita takes photos of an area when she's trying to figure out compensation that looks good to her.  She uses the photo to diagram the stitch she's trying to adjust.

Are you a visual learner?  This article and video on compensation by Unwind Studio may help.

If you really need more help, Susan Sturgeon Roberts' little book, Compensation 101: The Art of Partial Stitches for Needlepoint, may be useful.

It's a Kindle book, available from Amazon.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
Blogging at
and at
© Copyright February 5, 2024 Jane M. Wood. All rights reserved.