Sunday, June 3, 2012

Straight Stitch Compensation and Canvas Coverage

I am updating the blog postings to have labels attached to each post, it is at the bottom of the post underneath the comments.  The labels will indicate the general topic of the post.  For this post the labels are stitch compensation and canvas coverage.  Now, if you want to see all the posts about stitch compensation, then click on the label “stitch compensation” and all posts with that label will be displayed.  In this way you can view the posts in a more organized manner.
This post will discuss the issue that befalls everyone who compensates straight stitches, in particular, straight stitches over one canvas thread.  We’ve all been there, and here is an example of stitching the Parisian Stitch with just such compensation (2 strands Sheep’s Silk on 18 count canvas.)

The stitched sample shows two problems with compensating straight stitches over one canvas thread.  The first problem is that the stitches are not as plump as the regular stitches while the second problem (caused by the first problem) is that the canvas shows between this compensated stitch and the stitch next to it.  Here, row 3 is the compensated stitches and the canvas shows between the long stitches of row 2 and the stitches of row 3.
Many people have heard that you just stitch over the compensated stitch and that should solve the problem.  Yes and no.  Yes, it will solve both problems most of the time if done correctly.  And no, if not done correctly, it just exacerbates the problem.  
Here is an example of a correctly overstitched compensation stitch:

Notice that the compensated stitches are as plump as the regular stitches, and there is no canvas showing next to these compensated stitches.
The correct way to overstitch these over one canvas thread straight stitches is to stitch the row of compensated stitches, here shown as row 3.  If you follow the numbering (black lines) you will be traveling from left to right.  Then take a tacking stitch on the back and stitch over the top of row 3 again, following the lettering in red (and lines in red), traveling from right to left.  

Do not stitch the compensated stitch and then stitch over that stitch as your next stitch.  This simply wraps the thread more tightly around that canvas thread.  Have at least one stitch, or a tacking stitch between the compensated stitch and the overstitched stitch.  This extra work will prevent the wrapping of the thread, providing a plump stitch with better canvas coverage.

Difficulties arise when you are using a variegated thread.  In this case you may need to take a tacking stitch after every compensated stitch, then overstitch the compensated stitch.  This is more tedious, but it will maintain a correct color flow from the thread.

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou - this is a solution to another problem I have on my current piece.