Double Stitch Needlepoint Tutorial

couching doneDouble stitch needlepoint is very attractive for filling areas in both needlepoint and cross stitch projects. I’ve used it in two projects thus far, my fun (and free!) Denver Broncos cross stitch tutorial,

 

 



Compass Tile WIP #4aand again in my Compass Needlepoint project.

 

 

 

 

It’s a lovely stitch and it can be executed horizontally (as I will present below and as in the photos above) or vertically – it makes no difference as the stitches are worked the same. However, executing it presents some interesting challenges – challenges that this tutorial will address. Let’s start at the beginning…

In diagrams, you’ll see the basic instructions for the double stitch as follows:

double stitch needlepoint tutorial - figure 1Work the long cross stitches (in blue) first as shown in Figure 1b, up through the canvas at 1, down through the canvas at 2, up at 3, down at 4, etc.

Then go back and fill in the small cross stitches (in pink) as shown in Figure 1c, again up at 1, down at 2, up at 3, down at 4, etc.

 

fig2The second column will be worked from bottom to top, and the third column will be worked from top to bottom again. With that in mind, the first three columns of long cross stitches will be stitched in the order shown in Figure 2.

 

 

 

fig3Then the first three columns of small cross stitch will be stitched in the order shown in Figure 3.

 

 

 

 

 

In a square or rectangular area, there will be areas on the edges of the rows that will need coverage (shown in yellow).

fig4If it’s one stitch, depending on the weight of floss or wool used, these can be covered either with one stitch (in blue) in Figure 4a
or a small cross stitch in Figure 4b (in the diagrams that follow below, you’ll see that I chose to show the single stitch in Figure 4a purely for simplicity’s sake).

If the area on the edge that needs coverage is two stitches, create a two stitch long stitch as shown in Figure 4c.

The double stitch gets more challenging in areas that are not square or rectangular.

fig5Use the area in Figure 5 as an example. It’s similar to some of the areas in my Compass Tile project. I had a heck of a time wrapping my brain around how to tackle this, and I even put the project on hold for a while until I figured out this approach.

 

 

fig6On your pattern, draw the location of the small cross stitches as I did in pink in Figure 6. This will be an invaluable guide. Go ahead and stitch these small cross stitches using the same order of stitching as shown in Figure 3 above.

 

 

 

[What follows is especially important when the small cross stitch and long cross stitch are different colors.]

fig7From here, you need to consider the long stitches column by column, AND define what makes a column. With the double stitch, columns look like they do in Figure 7, shown in alternating in gold and gray. Essentially, the long stitches will play hopscotch over the existing small cross stitches while also filling in the extra one stitch and two stitch long stitches on the edges at the same time.

This will make more sense as you work through the next few Figures below.

fig8Let’s say we approach this area working from the left to the right. Then if we stitch the first column from top to bottom, the second column will be stitched from bottom to top, third column top to bottom, etc.

Starting from the left, the first column (gold) will only needs one stitch (in blue) as shown in Figure 8.

fig9The second column (gray), worked from bottom to top, will need a single stitch, two full long cross stitches and a two stitch long stitch as shown in Figure 9. Stitch the full long cross stitches and two stitch long stitch in the same order as they were shown above in Figure 2.

 

 

fig10The third (gold) column, worked from top to bottom, will need a single stitch, three full long cross stitches, and another single stitch as shown in Figure 10.

 

 

 

 

fig11The fourth (grey) column, worked from bottom to top, will need a single stitch, three full long cross stitches, and another single stitch as shown in Figure 11.

 

 

 

 

fig12Continue working your long stitches, serpentine-ing up and down as you work from left to right until your area is filled in as shown in Figure 12.

You’ll notice that the directions of the single stitches at the top and bottom and left and right are different. That’s just my preference – you could have them all go the same direction, or make them cross stitches as shown above in Figure 4b.

I hope this helps you use this beautiful double stitch in future needlepoint and cross stitch projects!

Denver Broncos Cross Stitch Tutorial

framed and complete

2013 crafty football blog hop

The idea for this Denver Broncos cross stitch project originated from the Fantasy Football League I’m in this season, the commissioner of which is none other than Diane of CraftyPod fame. Early in the season, we came up with the idea of a crafty football blog hop and invited others to join us. At the bottom of this post, you’ll see all the other fun projects that our group created. We’ve got knitters, multi-crafters, a tatter, and quilters in this mix of crafty participants. My contribution is this tutorial on how to create this cool Denver Broncos cross stitch!

materials

Materials:

  • A piece of 14 count Aida cloth measuring approximately 7 inches by 9 inches.
  • A skein each of DMC 6 strand floss in colors 820 (blue), 720 (orange), and White.
  • A needle for cross stitch – I use a #26 tapestry needle.

denver broncos cross stitch - broncos horse logoPattern: I designed this “D” pattern as the current team logo only has the word “Broncos” in their kick-butt font.

 

 

D chartI took parts of the letters in “Broncos” and rearranged them to make the “D” pattern you see (click to get the full page version).

This project uses the double stitch, and it combines a long cross stitch and a small cross stitch into a neat woven effect. The chart shows all the small cross stitches and how each row should begin and end (as some rows will end with partial stitches). I didn’t fill in all the long cross stitches on the chart as it just became too visually chaotic. You’ll understand when you take a closer look.

double stitch 1Stitching: Use two strands of your six strand floss. Start with the long cross stitches in blue, making sure you stitch over the tail of your floss on the back. Also, be careful that your top stitches are all in the same direction or your project will look uneven.

After creating this project, I recommend that you perform the long cross stitches in columns, not in rows as shown in the photo. It will make the orange short cross stitches much easier.

double stitch 2Very quickly you’ll see this groovy little pattern forming!

 

 

 

 

double stitch 3Stitch the long stitches first before filling in the orange short stitches.

 

 

 

 

double stitch 4After you finish the blue and orange stitches, you may want a little bit more texture in the background of the piece (I did). Continue the pattern of the orange small cross stitches in the background with the white floss. This is optional, but I think it greatly improves the appearance of the piece.

 

double stitch doneCouching: Double stitch done! Looks great, but there’s one more thing you may want to try: couching.

Like the stitching in the background, this too is optional. I had been wanting to try a couching stitch, so I thought this might be a good opportunity!

 

braidTo outline your “D” you will need to make about 18 inches of braid. Use all six strands of each of the three flosses. Knot each end to keep the braid from unraveling.

If you are considering outlining the inside of the “D” you will need about another 10 inches of braid.

 

couching 1The couching stitch is simple. Use a single strand of floss to secure the braid to the surface of the aida. I used the blue floss, but you could use the orange or the white – whichever you prefer.

Secure the blue floss on the back, then pass the needle up through the top left hole of the “D.” Bring the needle back down the same hole, securing the braid to the fabric.

couching 2Repeat this stitch every four holes around the perimeter of the “D,” keeping the braid flat and untwisted against the aida.

Take care that your couching stitches aren’t too tight as they may make the braid and even the fabric bulge and pucker.

When you get to the end of the couching, you will need to tie another knot in the braid and trim the ends of the braid to a length you like.

couching doneYou’re ready to mount and frame your “D”! About.com has some basic instructions on mounting cross stitch – it’s a good place to start.
Denver Broncos Cross Stitch Project Done

 GO BRONCOS!

Check out what the other Crafty Football Blog Hop participants made!