I hope after all of the discussion on types of pin stitches and where to use them, that you are seeing the value of anchoring thread with a pin stitch. It makes a much neater appearance, when you select the proper style of pin stitch for the type of thread and stitch.
You can also use pin stitches to end threads, and I use ending pin stitches more than any other kind of anchoring. You can end with a pin stitch that is 2 or 3 times over the same canvas thread, a T or L stitch, or pin stitches in a line.
An ending pin stitch will usually hold with only a couple of stitches, because there is no longer any tension on the stitches that might pull the thread loose. For threads that will have tension, like the second layer of a walneto or Jessica, make the stitch three times, same as for a beginning pin stitch.
Ending with a pin stitch is usually easier to accomplish with a stitch that covers several canvas threads with longer stitches, not short stitches like small Smyrnas or basketweave. But for a waffle stitch, crescent, Jessica, double fan doubled, fan, walneto – an ending pin stitch is perfect.
First decide which form of pin stitch will be the best for the stitch and type of thread. Then, very gently, with your fingernail or another needle, move the threads of the stitch aside just a bit until you can see the empty canvas underneath. Make the pin stitch, then clip the thread either from the front or back (if clipping from the front makes you nervous that you might snip the actual stitch). After making the pin stitch, gently stroke the threads back into place.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this discussion about pin stitches and have found it useful for your own stitching. I like using pin stitches to start and stop threads because it’s much neater, allows me to do everything from the front without flipping my canvas over, and usually doesn’t risk distorting the stitches by weaving through the backs of the stitches.
Sometimes weaving through the back is the best option, especially for shorter denser stitches, but begin looking for ways to end with a pin stitch – I think you’ll like it!