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This page is to help the new and inexperienced stitcher choose a project.  You can also insert the search word EASY to find more canvases. Here is a video showing:

How to Needlepoint


The needlepoint canvas is an open, even-weave mesh, with large spaces or holes to allow heavy threads to pass through without fraying. Canvas is sized by mesh sizes, or thread count per inch.  Popular mesh sizes are 10, 12, 14, 18, and 24 (Congress Cloth). You will see these different types of needlepoint canvases described on our site as mono or penelope.  Mono canvas is used for hand-painted canvases as well as counted thread canvaswork.

Mono 10 - means there are 10 holes to the inch --- larger holes, perfect for the novice stitcher;
Mono 13 - means there are 13 holes to the inch;
Mono 18 - means there are 18 holes to the inch --- small holes, canvas design can have intricate details.

Frames The needlepoint canvas is stretched on a scroll frame or tacked onto a rectangular wooden frame to keep the work taut during stitching. A frame is highly recommended to prevent the canvas from getting out of shape, which may not be able to be fully corrected during blocking.  

 Needlepoint Belt Scroll Frame


Canvas - There are two different kinds of canvas:   Penelope and Mono. 

Penelope Canvas is double-mesh which is woven with two horizontal and two vertical threads forming each mesh.  Each pair of threads is called one mesh. 


Mono Canvas is single-mesh which is a very stable canvas on which the threads will stay securely in place as you work.  Single-mesh canvas, which is more widely used, is a little easier on the eyes because the spaces are slightly larger. 

Don't forget to work 2-5 extra rows all around your design to make sure you have enough for the "finisher!"

halfcross.jpg Plain Half-Cross Stitch

Always work Half-Cross Stitch from the left to the right, then turn the canvas around and work the return row, still stitching from the left to the right.  Bring the needle to the front of the canvas at a point that will be the bottom of the first stitch.  The needle is in a vertical position when making the stitch. Keep the stitches loose for minimum distortion and good coverage.  This stitch must be worked on a double-mesh canvas (Penelope).

continental.jpg Continental Stitch

Start this design at the upper right-hand corner and work from right to left.  the needle is slanted and always brought out a mesh ahead.  The resulting stitch is actually a Half-Cross Stitch on top and a slanting stitch on the back.  When the row is finished, turn the canvas around and work the return row, still stitching from right to left.

bstweav.jpg Basket Weave Stitch

Start in the upper right-hand corner of the area with four continental Stitches, two worked horizontally across the top and two placed directly below the first stitch.  Then work diagonal rows, the first slanting up and across the canvas from right to left and the next down and across from left to right.  Each new row is one stitch longer.  As you go down the canvas (left to right), the needle is held in a vertical position; as you move in the opposite direction, the needle is horizontal.  The rows should interlock, creating a basket-weave pattern on the reverse.  If this is not done properly a faint ridge will show where the pattern was interrupted.  Always stop working in the middle of a row, rather than at the end, so that you will know in which direction you were working.

What Should I use, Wool or Pearl Cotton?  The thread choices are really personal preference --- both the wool/yarn and the pearl cotton are equally durable, so it comes down to the look of the thread.  The pearl cotton has a little more finish to it, not glossy, but a little more refined; whereas, the wool, has a matte look to it.  On on some canvases, I like to go with the combination of pearl cotton for the design and wool for the background.  That give the design a little more ‘pop’.

What makes the canvases below good for a beginner?

What should you look for?

Here are some general guidelines:

1.  Canvas should be Mono 10, Mono 12, or Mono 13. These are the sizes of the holes on the canvas. The SMALLER the number the LARGER the hole.

2.  These canvases don't have a lot of shadowing, so it's easier to determine where each color should be stitched.

3.  Scroll frames -- I highly recommend! It may be a little awkward getting used to holding a frame, but it's well worth the time. Your canvas will stay cleaner, and won't pull out of shape making blocking more difficult.


Thread guidelines:

Pearl Cotton - there are two different sizes:  #3 used for Mesh sizes 10, 12 or 13; #5 used for Mesh Sizes 18, 16, or 14.  When I create a kit for you, I include the correct size; therefore, you do not need to divide or double the thread.  Use it just as it comes!

Paternayan Wool - the wool comes as three ply.  Depending on the size Mesh of your canvas, you will need to divide the ply.  Here is a chart that you can use to determine how many ply to use.  MESH SIZE.htmMESH SIZE.htm 



What do you mean by "Hand Painted?"


How to Needlepoint: How to Needlepoint

e-Mail:  Johanne@Needlepointshop.com

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