Keeping it fresh

I think the problem with inconsistencies in keeping up with my blog is that I don’t always have something profound to say. After all, I don’t want to waste your time! But it sets up a dilemma for me to come up with something interesting, however small, to blog about on a regular basis.

So today I’ll share a brief video link on my YouTube channel, about starting and stopping threads. I have been somewhat surprised by the reaction to this little video, which I have been showing in my classes. I recently taught a 3 day class with some quite complicated stitches, and what the students were most impressed by was how to do a pin stitch. Sigh.

Therefore, let’s review pin stitches and other ways to start a thread. I demonstrate an away knot, a loop start and a pin stitch in the video.

I prefer an in-the-path waste knot when I use one. That is, I place the knot on top of the canvas and position it so that I will stitch over the tail, securing the thread, and I can clip off the knot when I come to it. Some people prefer an away waste knot, one that is completely out of the stitching area, and weave in the ends when there is enough on the back of the canvas. This involves clipping the knot, rethreading the end into a needle, and weaving it under the carry threads on the back. Either one is fine and a matter of personal preference.

A loop start is useful when you have an even number of strands in your needle. This makes for a very neat back. Catch your loop over a single thread, not the first stitch you are making, to keep it very tight and compact. For instance, if I were doing a satin stitch over 4 canvas threads, I would make my loop over 1 canvas thread, then cover it with the first satin stitch. This keeps the loop nice and tight, and completely covered by the stitching.

My current favorite way to start a stitch is a pin stitch. The pin stitch can be over 1 canvas thread, or in the shape of an “L” or “T”. Which ever you choose, I take 3 tiny stitches to make sure the thread is very secure. A pin stitch must be placed where the pattern stitches will cover it. This can be tricky, so plan carefully!

I’ll discuss ending stitches next time.

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