Sunday, December 11, 2011

HUGS from Robin - part six

Hi Everybody... Robin here.

Close up of Hugs (GS-11)
Sometimes a little Basketweave is just what a needlepoint piece needs. A place to rest your eyes, if you will. It's the cornerstone of our stitching repertoire, and yet, we might overlook using it because we are in love with all those other decorative stitches.

In the 1970's, I learned how to do the Basketweave stitch from reading a charted diagram. (True confessions: I began as a self-taught stitcher.) I understood it had a diagonal pathway. Only recently did I realize there was more to that stitch... much more to learn... to do it correctly.

ND 465-A
Stitch Guide by Vicky De Angelis
Last year I was photographing Vicky De Angelis' stitched models for NeedleDeeva. Getting close to her work through the camera and computer, I noticed her beautiful Basketweave stitches.

The Devil is still a handsome guy despite
being at the beginning of Robin's learning curve.
Then, I looked at my stitching. At the time, I was stitching The Devil (ND 0467-B) from the Creepy Characters. Quite a different look for the same stitch. I was keeping the diagonal pathway; what else could I do to improve my technique?

Walk Up the Steps
I had remembered the saying, "Walk up the Steps... Slide down the Poles." In my early stitching days, I heard it, and yet, couldn't/wouldn't process it. I never took time to study the canvas threads: the warp and the weft threads. There was a wonderful charted diagram in The NeedleWorks March 2011 e-newsletter which gave me my "ah-ha" moment. The horizontal steps and the vertical poles were pointed out to me; cue the celestial choir.

At the same time, I remembered Amy Bunger taught a 2-hour class about Basketweave at TNNA. Imagine that... 2 hours on the Basketweave stitch. Currently, I am editing the Tony Minieri DVDs, Back to Basics • Level One, and again, the Basketweave stitch was discussed in depth.

So now, I understand the Basketweave stitch. Here are some points to share with you:
  • Pay attention to the canvas threads: walk up the Steps and slide down the Poles. It really does matter.
  • When beginning a new thread, pay attention to your last stitch and begin the next stitch in the correct sequence. If your begin at the other end, you will get a "striped" look.
  • When ending the thread, do not run it back into the worked area. You will get a "hole" in the stitching. Instead, pull your thread forward so the new thread will have coverage on the backside. 
  • To end the thread, run it either horizontal or vertical along a few stitches; never diagonally.
Backside of Basketweave
Hugs (GS-11) • Gayla Elliott Designs
I am now proud to show you my backside of the Basketweave on the HUGS canvas. I can honestly say this is the first time I correctly did the Basketweave stitch. I am so thrilled. Hopefully, my learned lessons will help someone, too.

Until the next time... Hugs, Robin


  1. I never knew why I got a "hole" in the stitching. Great explaination. Thank you, Thank you!!

  2. Hi Barbara,
    Good to hear from you. I learned this info from Amy and am glad to share it with you. Holiday Hugs to you... Robin

  3. I, too, am self-taught. I did a Maggie Lane 4' x 6' rug with streaks all over it! Live and learn! LOL Love what you are doing.

  4. Wonderful posting, Robin. Baskeweave is hard to master but Vicky's got it down. You learned from the best and are very kind to share.

  5. Wow, a 4x6 foot needlepoint rug. Now that's some awesome stitching. I agree with you, Anonymous... live and learn! Thanks for visiting the Needlepoint Study Hall blog.

  6. Hi Jane. Good to hear from you. I was glad to share my ah-ha moment. You know me... I'm the See One, Do One, Teach One girl. LOL.

  7. Oh Robin

    Such good hints and tips, as always. Took me quite a long time to get that A-ha moment...thanks for the reminder. Amy's DVD's are full of those tips and I learnd about the ending threads on about a A-ha moment.

    Merry Christmas to all

    Sue V

  8. Thank you Robin! and Jane too! I am flattered that you used one of my pieces fro your show and tell.

    I hate to tell you that I don't know how to read the canvas and I break so any of the rules when it comes to sticthing basketweave. I don't use a laying tool for basketweave and so much more...but you know what, I am not changing a thing! Thank you again!

  9. Great and important tip. I always tell a new basketweave stitcher to end the thread close to the edge of the row...not neatly at the end as we would want to do. That way there is no doubt of the correct direction to stitch. And if you've ever gotten that basketweave dent, you'll never do it again!

  10. Hi Peggy. Great to hear from you. Hope you will be back at blogging in 2012.

  11. Hi Vicky,
    Great to hear from you. Yes... don't change a thing. Your "magical" technique is ANG award winning.


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