Monday, April 15, 2013

Rhodes Stitch Compensation

I was just reading Jo Ippolito Christensen’s book The Needlepoint Book and looking up what she has to say about the Rhodes Stitch.  I quote: “Compensating stitches are pretty much impossible.”  Is this true?

Well, let’s take a look at the stitch:
Rhodes Stitch
This is just one example of the Rhodes Stitch, the size and shape can be changed easily, making it a very versatile stitch.  A lot of people like to use Rhodes stitches in their work because it offers a great deal of texture.

Let’s try to compensate this stitch:
First Step in Compensation
The first step is to try to block out the area that is not to be stitched - I am blocking out the upper right hand corner of the stitch.  I then pull back those affected lines (lines 1-2, 3-4, 17-18 and 19-20) to determine what holes they should go through instead, as shown below.

Compensated Rhodes Stitch

Will this work?  We won’t know how really successful this compensation is until we stitch it. 

Here is a sample of the original stitch and a sample of a compensated stitch:

Side by Side Comparison - Rhodes Stitch and Compensated Rhodes Stitch

Looks pretty good, right?

Remember what we need to look at: the angle of the stitched lines.  I’ve pointed out two lines for you to look at and I’ve also placed a rectangle over the top of the full Rhodes stitch to highlight where the compensation took place.

Compare the Two Stitches

The comparison at the top of the stitch looks at where #6 from the diagram is in the regular Rhodes and in the compensated Rhodes.  There is a different angle for this stitch due to the pull that stitches 17-18 and 19-20 places on the stitch 5-6.  Do you see the extra bit of canvas showing between the 5-6 and 7-8 stitches?

The comparison at the bottom looks at the angle of the last two stitches.  The compensated stitch shows both stitches, 17-18 and 19-20 side by side, while in the original Rhodes stitch they are not side by side, but 17-18 is nearly covered by 19-20.

So, for this square Rhodes stitch, I’d say Jo Ippolito Christensen is correct, compensation is problematic.  

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