Melitastitches4fun's Blog

Tent Stitch Issue on a Diagonal

According to The Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen, a tent stitch is either a half cross, continental, or basketweave stitch depending on what direction you stitch it. They all look like a 1 x 1 diagonal stitch on the top of the canvas. The way I stitched the single row of the zig zag white line doesn’t appear to follow any one of these directions. So, I will just call it a tent stitch and you know I am referring to a 1 x 1 diagonal stitch going from the bottom left to the upper right.

There is an issue with a single line of tent stitch when you are moving on the diagonal of a V shape. On the right side of the V, the stitches form a connecting line. However, on the left side of the V, the stitches form something like a step ladder not touching one another. On occasion, I have laid a thread from upper left end of the V to the center of the V in the same color thread to form a connecting line on both sides of the V and make it a stronger visual. It’s like couching on the diagonal. I’m sure I learned it in a class and used it before (but can’t remember where).

I decided to see if it would work for the coaster I painted. I stitched the first V with all tent stitches (right V). The second V (left V) has Silk & Ivory laid on the left diagonal line.

Once the tent stitches were placed on top, it resulted in a thicker line than the right side of the V. It may not be visible in the photo (center V) but you can feel it. The third V (left V) has one strand of Silk & Ivory laid on the left diagonal line. Silk & Ivory is a 3-ply thread not normally split into 3 strands but it can be.

Then, tent stitches were placed on top.

Once the green thread was added, it pinched the laid white into a very thin noticeable line.

The fourth V (on far left) has two strands of Silk & Ivory laid on the left diagonal line after I stitched the surrounding green thread first.

Then, I placed tent stitches placed on top. This was the end result of my experiment.

I’m glad I practiced because I decided that it didn’t work as well as I remembered. My husband likes the third V from the left. I will stick with far right V which has the tent stitches on the left side of the V without a laid thread allowing the eye to perceive it as a line even though it doesn’t actually connect as a continuous line.

Then, it dawned on me that it might work better if the line were a darker thread surrounded by the white thread. So, I had to test my theory.

Again, my husband likes the third V from the left. I’m inclined to agree. And, I least like the V on the far right. So, my take away is the darker the thread worked better than the lighter. However, I will probably try this again on the 18 count canvas. I think it’ll work better with either color combination because the canvas threads will be closer together to begin with.

Did anyone stay with me through this discussion? What are your thoughts? Have you done or heard anything like this before?

Christmas 2019 with Gay Ann Rogers and Susan Sturgeon Roberts

I asked Santa for Gay Ann Roger’s series of designs inspired by Downton Abbey including the Countess, Lady Mary, and Lady Edith. Hopefully, she adds a fourth based on the Dowager Countess.

And, I expect to learn a lot from Susan Sturgeon Roberts in her book, Tips & Techniques for Needlepoint. After some cooking, I will settle down with this.

Happy Holidays to all!

Technique Issue: Stitching into stitches and catching fiber
November 26, 2019, 11:46 am
Filed under: General comments, Technique Issues, Threads

In reading over suggested materials from the EGA Master Craftsman Canvas bibliography, I have found a couple of interesting issues and will post about some of them. I’d love to get your input on these.

In Needlepoint and Beyond: 27 Lessons in Advanced Canvas Work by Edith Anderson Feisner, she says to always work into the stitches that have been previously done. That makes sense. It’s also been described as working from a clean hole into a dirty hole. That’s not always possible but an excellent tenet to follow.

Before I proceed, let me say she is using size 10 or 12 mesh interlock canvas and Colbert Persian wool in her examples. So, perhaps her next statement that I have some question about is not applicable to all fibers.

She says to catch just a tiny bit of the fiber as you work the stitch to lock the stitches together but do not split the fiber. Her reasoning is that, “This will prevent friction between stitching from building up and destroying the fibers.”

Do you think her finished pieces are being used as rugs or something being handled a lot? Because when would there be friction after you stitched and framed something?

I have always tried to keep the holes more “clean” by specifically avoiding catching the fiber from the previous stitch. I thought that was preferred. And, so, perhaps “it depends” on what you are stitching and for what purpose. In straight stitches like bargello, it might decrease the chance of seeing the bits of canvas on either side of the threads (sometimes referred to as teeth or dandruff). And, bargello patterns are often pillows or purses which would get wear.

Have you ever heard anyone recommend catching the fiber while stitching? And, if so, when, what fiber, and why.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and comments.