Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sorry this is late

Where to Start Your Stitching
Most places you look online will tell you to start your stitching in the middle. You don't have to do this - I NEVER ever start in the middle.  So long as the piece of evenweave or linen you are using is large enough you can start in the top left hand corner which is exactly where I start every time.  If you need to find out how large a piece of fabric you need I suggest you go here and it will figure it out for you in an instant!!  I always leave 3" on each side extra if the piece is going to be framed.  Otherwise I leave 2" and then start the amount I have added.  So if I've left 3" all round I start stitching 3" down and 3" in on the left hand side.  I personally HATE stitching from the middle.
How Much Floss Do I Need
I don't mean how much floss you need to to finish a project but how much floss to use when stitching.  Like do you use one strand or two?  Now this is really up to you.  But this website gives some good advice.  See I can agree with a website sometimes.  But then again everything is what YOU want to do and how YOU want to do it.

I personally don't like it to look bulky or heavy (sorry I can't think of the word - it's this getting old thing again)!  I like it to you - I'm sure the word starts with a p and if I remember I will change it on here!!!  I only use 28count linen/evenweave if I'm stitching one over one so I really only ever use one strand of floss.  But again it's how YOU like the stitching to look and what YOU want not what I or anybody else wants - not even the designers.  It is always about what YOU want and how you WANT.  Whatever I am telling you is how I want it and I start and how I finish - but the choice is always yours and what YOU want.  Still haven't remembered that darn word sorry I'm giving up now!
Hoop or no Hoop
This I covered the other day pretty much to be honest.  But this site has other ideas to me.  And YOU might want to follow what they have to say.  Or have followed what this person thinks are good ideas.  Me?  I don't agree with most of what this person has to say and I have been stitching for 15 or 20 years and I am kinda old.  I'm only admitting this here you understand - the fact that I'm kinda old(ish) but if you look at my friend Lana's picture (she had her hair cut yesterday and she looks amazing - she looks REALLY young).  I'm told I look young but she makes me look like a great-grandma!!!  Okay enough off topic.  As I said before my stitches are even I practically NEVER use a hoop or frame but that is MY choice.
Floss & What to Do and What not to Do with your Floss
Never ever cut your floss double the size and then fold it in half and start like that because half of your floss will have the knap going the correct way and the other half will be going the wrong way and you will get into the most awful mess and it will knot and stuff and you don't want this because it makes your life harder and I hate making my life harder.  I am so all for easy.
How to Start your Work
How to start your stitching without having to leave a tail.  I have been using this way for years and it works to both start and stop your stitching.  I hope you like it as much as I do.  You can also do this with using one or two strands of floss.
  • Diagram of thread paths for pinhead stitch to start a thread on linen or evenweave

    pinhead stitch path diagram

    Starting a Thread
    This diagram is for a pinhead stitch used to anchor a cross stitch. The pinhead stitch will hide under the cross.
    This diagram assumes the cross will be stitched with the thread coming up at 1, going down at 2, coming up at 3, going down at 4. This matters! Bringing the thread up at 1 cinches the pinhead stitch to the ground fiber. If you want to start your thread in another corner, rotate this diagram so the number 1 is where you want to start. If spatial puzzles aren’t your thing, scribble this diagram on scrap paper and physically rotate it. 
    The path is as follows: Thread comes up at a (hold the tail on the back side with your finger), goes down at b, comes up at c, goes down at b again, comes up at 1 for the cross and is pulled snug.
  • Diagram of pinhead stitch with thread pictured

    pinhead stitch thread diagram

    Here’s a thread diagram. Again, it came up at a, down at b, up at c, down at b again, up at 1. You can see how the starting thread is pulled snug against the ground fiber on the b-1 stitch.
  • Diagram of the pinhead stitch under the cross stitch

    pinhead under a cross stitch

    The cross stitch on top of the pinhead is another layer of snugging and cinching as well as a visual cover. Thread, unlike the lines in my diagram, will fluff out and fill much of the square. Plus, your pinhead will be the same color as your cross, right?
    You can trim the thread tail very close to the stitching on the back.
  • Numbered diagram showing the path of a pinhead stitch that ends a thread

    pinhead stitch path diagram

    Ending a Thread
    Same, same here. This diagram assumes your cross ends going down at 4. Rotate as needed.
    Now, most tutorials on ending a thread with a pinhead stitch recommend the following:
    After the cross, the thread comes up at a, goes down at b under the cross stitch, comes up at c, and goes back down at b to the right of the a-b stitch. The whole pinhead is stitched under the cross.
    I disagree! Here’s why:
    Visualize the starting pinhead stitch. The a-b thread tail is caught in a loop made by the c-b-1 stitch. That loop cinches the a-b tail to the ground fiber around which the loop passes.
    If we bring the thread down to the right of the a-b thread when ending the fiber, where is the loop that cinches the tail in place to the ground fabric? There is none. That tail is hanging out.
    Therefore, I recommend this path:
    After the cross, come up at b, go down at c, come up at a, go down at b and bring the tail through the loop made by the 4-b-c stitch. Again, all this is done under the cross. Now the tail is cinched to the ground with a loop.
    You could also go up at b, down at c, up at b again, down at a and through the 4-b-c loop. Whatever. Just make a loop and take the tail through it, snug it up, and trim.
  • Thread diagram of pinhead stitch under cross stitch

    pinhead stitch thread diagram

    This diagram is the same as the tutes that describe the method I’m opposing. They’ve merely interpreted the drawing differently—incorrectly, in my opinion.
  • Thread diagram of pinhead stitch on aida fabric

    pinhead stitch on aida

    The pinhead stitch on aida fabric is the same, except we have to pierce the fabric between the holes. Some people claim that the stitch is harder to hide under the cross, and I would guess it’s because evenweave fibers have more give and can be snugged under the cross. To compensate for the lack of give with aida, try not piercing the fabric precisely in the middle between the holes but, rather, make the stitch as small as possible. A sharp needle will help.

pinhead stitch variations and ideas

The pinhead strategy uses a snug loop to secure a thread. It also employs the strategy of having the tail reverse direction. Think about it: a tail that extends straight out behind the working thread is easier to pull out than one that is going the opposite direction. That turn offers resistance. Add another turn, and you’ve got more resistance still.
Yet another strategy to secure a thread tail is to split another fiber with it; it could be a ground fiber, a fiber from another stitch, or even the working fiber itself. Running one fiber through another adds resistance: it’s harder to pull out, especially if it’s running through a tightly twisted fiber. Run that thread tail through several fibers and you’ve got even more resistance. This is super-handy in blackwork if you want a reversible piece. Thread tails can be run back through the working fibers and ground fibers in the same line they originally traveled. Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky!
How to make sure the KNAP is going the correct way
If the knap is going the wrong way once again you are going to get into an awful mess and find your floss knots up like BIGTIME!!
When you cut your floss just light tap on the top of the 6 strands you have cut and if they open up and like kinda like a flower then you know the knapp is going from the top to the bottom and this is correct.  If it doesn't then just turn the whole piece upside down and try again and this time it will work.  Now you can just take out one or two strands and start your stitching as above and everything will be fine and no knots.
Okay I think this is enough for today.  I will be back soon with the final part of this tutorial and that one will be all about the kinds of floss you can buy and how to use them.  So ...

Until Next Time
Lots of Love Patti xxx

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1 comment:

Myra said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful information. I have never done a pin stitch but after reading your post I am hooked! I will be using this all the time now. Thank you for sharing this knowledge.