Monday, May 21, 2012

Straight Stitches Next to Diagonal Stitches


A very common issue in the needlepoint world is what to do when straight stitches meet diagonal stitches.  Here is a stitched sample and a stitch diagram where the two stitches meet (the straight stitch is a vertical Gobelin stitch and the diagonal stitch is a Scotch stitch):


I am stitching on 18 count white canvas and I have used 2 strands of Watercolours for my straight stitches (over 4 canvas threads) and 2 strands of Sheep’s Silk for my diagonal stitches.  As you can see from this example, the coverage of the canvas is not complete between the two  stitches.


Many people will then choose to stitch a vertical Gobelin stitch in the shared holes with the left hand side of the Scotch stitch.  The stitched sample and the stitch diagram look like this:





Does this solve the problem?  Take a look at where the arrow is pointing - the thread overlaps the Scotch stitches here - and unevenly at that, all rows should look the same.  I’ve stitched a diagonal tent stitch at the bottom of the vertical Gobelin stitches to illustrate how the Gobelin stitches may make the Scotch stitches, which should be square, look a little rectangular because of the thread overlap.  There is no overlap with the tent stitch.  This is the problem with this technique - of sharing the same holes between the long straight stitch and the diagonal stitch.  Remember, the entire vertical line where the two stitches meet should look the same.
So, how should this problem be resolved?  There are two options, both very similar.
The first option is to stitch a vertical row of tent stitches in the same thread as the vertical Gobelin stitches, and have these stitches share the holes with the diagonal Scotch stitches.  Here is an example:


The technique is as follows:
  1. Stitch a tent stitch sharing holes with the diagonal stitch in the same color of thread as the vertical stitches will be stitched.
  2. Stitch the vertical stitches, do not stitch over the tent stitches.
Many times this technique is all that needs to be done.


The one thing I would be careful of in this situation comes about because of the overdyed thread - there is a section where the thread is quite bright aqua.  I would make sure the tent stitches matched pretty well the vertical Gobelin stitches in color.  So I would not stitch the bright aqua next to the duller violet or teal.  So that is a small issue that only comes up when stitching with overdyed threads.


The second option is similar, but a vertical stitch is placed over the tent stitches, though the number of strands of threads is reduced so that the vertical stitch does not overlap the diagonal stitches.  Here is an example:


The technique is as follows:
  1. Stitch a tent stitch sharing holes with the diagonal stitch in the same color of thread as the vertical stitches will be stitched.  These stitches are necessary so that there is sufficient thread coverage between the vertical stitches.
  2. Stitch the vertical stitches, do not stitch over the tent stitches.
  3. Using half the number of strands of thread as for the vertical stitches of Step 2, stitch the vertical stitches over the top of the tent stitches.  You may even want to use a smaller needle for this stitch.
Here again, because of the overdyed thread, I had to be careful that my two threads in the needle stayed at the same color sequence as the rest of the threads.  I had to combine Steps 2 and 3 into one Step.  What I did was to separate the two strands into one strand and stitch the vertical stitch over the top of the tent stitches on the front, then I took the other strand and stitched a length on the backside of the canvas the same length, using the tent stitches as a way to tack and change stitch direction, then I put the two strands back together to stitch the next vertical stitch that required two strands of thread in the needle.  

What happens if you can't reduce the number of strands of the vertical stitch, let's say it is only one strand of thread in the first place.  Then you must use the first option, tent stitch only, as your technique.


Obviously this technique works for vertical Gobelin and horizontal Gobelin.  Next time I will cover the other problem that occurs with straight stitches meeting diagonal stitches.









1 comment:

  1. Wow! This is very helpful information. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete