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Begin at the Beginning: Needlepoint

Le 13 March 2017
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Needlepoint

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    Begin at the Beginning: Needlepoint

    Hints and Tips to Help Get You Started

      So you want to learn needlepoint? Good for you! We’ve written this post to offer a bit of guidance to get you going.     Preparing Your Canvas To begin, we recommend that you bind the edges of your canvas with drafting/artist tape before you start stitching. This will prevent the canvas from unraveling and from catching the threads as you stitch. To bind the edges cut a piece of tape that is the length of one side of the canvas. Apply the tape over the canvas edge, with half of it on the front side and half on the backside. Repeat on all four sides. [caption id="attachment_6289" align="aligncenter" width="170"]Preparing your canvas. Preparing your canvas.[/caption] If you’re planning on using a frame, mount the prepared canvas to the frame.   Preparing Your Thread Needlepoint projects can call for a variety of different threads. Depending on the size of the mesh of the canvas, you’ll use all six strands of DMC’s six-stranded floss.   Here is a quick how-to on adjusting the thickness of your floss:   Floss is a six-stranded fiber. You will not usually stitch with all six strands of floss, so you’ll have to separate the strands before you begin stitching. To separate your strands, find the end of the thread. Slowly pull the end out from the skein until you have an 18” length of floss. Cut it off. To separate the floss into individual strands, pull one strand up and out slowly until it’s completely separated from the others. Continue this process until you’ve pulled out the required number of strands. To rejoin the threads, hold them together at one end and then gently stroke the lengths to smooth and recombine them. [caption id="attachment_6266" align="aligncenter" width="307"]Separating floss Separating floss.[/caption]   Preparing Pearl Cotton Thread It’s no surprise that we’re fans of Pearl Cotton thread and that it can make most projects look absolutely beautiful. If you decide to try Pearl Cotton, we’ve listed two common ways to open and cut a skein of this thread. The methods are dictated by the length of thread you need.    
    • If you need about 19” of thread: push the two labels toward the center. Find the end with the two loops and cut through the bottom of each loop. Move the labels back into place. Pick and then pull out a single piece of thread from the top loop.
    [caption id="attachment_6277" align="aligncenter" width="349"]Pearl Cotton trimmed. Pearl Cotton, trimmed.[/caption]
    • If you need about 38” of thread: remove both labels and untwist the skein to form an oval. Cut through all the threads at one end of the oval. Pick and then remove one thread for use as needed. To keep the threads tidy for future use, put the color number label back onto the thread and slide it to the center. Fold the threads in half and set aside.
    [caption id="attachment_6276" align="aligncenter" width="351"]Pearl Cotton cut long. Pearl Cotton cut long.[/caption] Note: Pearl Cotton is commonly stitched using one full strand for embroidery and is not usually doubled up to make a thicker thread. If you want a heavier thread for your project, choose Pearl Cotton size 3 or size 5. If you’re working a delicate stitch or using a lightweight fabric, use Pearl Cotton size 12 or 8.     Threading Your Needle We recommend using the DMC Needle Threader to help you thread your needle. To use this tool, slide the eye of the needle onto the hook, then loop the thread on the hook and pass the hook through the eye of the needle, and pull the thread through. [caption id="attachment_6262" align="aligncenter" width="299"]Using a DMC Needle Threader. Using a DMC Needle Threader.[/caption] If you don’t have a DMC Needle Threader, here are some other ways to thread your needle:  
    • Pinch and Poke
    [caption id="attachment_6261" align="aligncenter" width="315"]The 'pinch and poke' method. The 'pinch and poke' method.[/caption] To do this method, first cut a clean end of thread and pinch it between your thumb and forefinger, leaving only a little of the end exposed. Holding the needle in your other hand, “poke” the eye of the needle over the tip and the thread into the eye, then pull the thread through. Pinching the thread gives you more control to guide the thread into the eye. You may have to “saw” the eye of the needle back and forth slightly to get the thread to enter the eye.  
    • Loop, Pinch, and Press
      [caption id="attachment_6260" align="aligncenter" width="315"]The 'loop, pinch, and poke' method. The 'loop, pinch, and poke' method.[/caption] Loop the end of the thread over the eye of the needle and pinch the loop tightly between your thumb and forefinger. Remove the needle from the loop and press the eye of the needle down over the thread. Pull on the loop to get the thread through the eye of the needle.   Note: Whenever you’re stitching, make sure your hands and work surface are kept clean. We recommend washing your hands before you begin stitching (and try to remember to keep drinks and snacks away from the area).   There you have it! Now you’re all set to start your needlepoint project!

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