Do you know what needlepoint stitch pathways are? (It’s okay if you don’t – that’s what we’re gonna talk about here today.) Before we dive into this week’s topic, though, let’s start by defining stitch diagrams. A stitch diagram is an illustration that shows you the individual parts of a canvas embroidery stitch (aka, decorative stitch). Some stitch diagrams have letters and numbers on them, and that makes them soooo much easier to use, especially if you’re new to needlepoint or have been away from it for a while. But sometimes, you come across stitch diagrams that don’t have letters or numbers on them. Then what?
That’s a terrific question! In fact, that’s where the needlepoint stitch pathway comes into the picture.
It’s really pretty simple – it’s the order in which you execute each part of a stitch or stitch pattern. Think of it like walking along a path to get from your house to your neighbor’s house. You start at point A, your house, and you end up at point B, your neighbor’s house. Make sense? Terrific!
“Traveling” and your “travel thread” pertain to the actual thread you’re using to stitch with. It’s the way the thread lays on the backside of your canvas as you stitch. Traveling is the act of carrying your thread across the back of your canvas and the travel thread is exactly what it sounds like – the thread itself.
When you use a stitch diagram that has letters or numbers on it, follow it like a roadmap that you might use to help you get from, say, Dallas to Denver if you were going on a road trip. The letters/numbers on the stitch diagram are the visual cues that guide you from the starting point, along the path, and to your final destination, which is the completion of the stitch.
Just like on this stitch diagram for the upright Gobelin stitch…
I know – I’ve been there! It can be incredibly frustrating to encounter a stitch diagram like that if you don’t understand needlepoint stitch pathways, but I’m going to share some tips that should help make navigating those “number-less” and “letter-less” stitch diagrams a whole lot easier. (Shout out to Amy Bunger from whom I first learned about needlepoint stitch pathways.)
First, though, you need to know that there are six primary types of needlepoint stitch pathways that your thread can follow…
Why do you need to know that? Great question! And the short answer is because each different kind of needlepoint stitch pathway has its own unique traits that can affect the overall look of your finished project.
Consistency is key when it comes to your needlepoint hobby. Establishing and maintaining a single needlepoint stitch pathway when working a particular pattern is crucial because skipping around and changing pathways mid-stream can result in lumpy bumpy looking work. And nobody wants that, right?! 😉
And there you have it – an introduction to needlepoint stitch pathways and why you need to know about them.
Please join me on Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. CDT for our weekly live broadcast from the Serendipity Needleworks Facebook page. We’ll chat a little more about the different needlepoint stitch pathways.
Until then, happy stitching!
PS: If you enjoyed this blog post, click here to get my weekly emails where I share even more stitch-y goodness. 😉
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