Friday, February 24, 2012

Compensating Stitches

Stitch Compensation
Many stitchers have trouble with stitch compensation and one of the reasons why is that there are exceptions to the basic rule that compensating stitches are stitched just like regular stitches, but the length of the stitch, or part of the stitch is just shorter.  While that is generally a correct statement, there are some exceptions to the rule.

Exception #1
Don’t let compensating stitches pull previously laid stitches out of line.   Here is an example of what I mean.

Look at the Double Straight Cross Stitch. It is a stitch made up of four separate parts, a vertical stitch, a horizontal stitch and two slanted stitches. I have diagrammed the stitch and numbered it in the way that it is normally stitched.

If you are at the edge of the area you are stitching and cannot complete the right half of the stitch, how is this stitch correctly compensated? If you followed the advice to stitch it so that the right side of the stitches are not as long, but keep to the same way of stitch execution you would have a stitch that looked like this:

The problem with this stitch is that your first stitch, the vertical stitch from 1 to 2, will be pulled out of shape by the compensating stitch from 3-4. How then should this stitch be compensated?
If you break up the stitch from 1-2 into two parts, each part going into the shared hole in the middle, then the vertical stitch will be straight. A diagram of the stitch is shown below:

One more thing, notice that the stitch execution has changed a bit. I have not stitched both sides of the vertical stitch before stitching the horizontal stitch. I changed the numbering so that there is no thread pulled behind the shared hole of all the stitches. This makes for a much neater appearance to the compensated stitch.