Updated November 5, 2020.
On this canvas, the trees were three shades of green. Instead of using three different colored threads, I used one color of Shaded Petit Very Velvet to stitch the trees. As you can see, I got all three colors on the canvas plus some subtle variation in each area that brings a depth to the needlepoint unavailable with solid threads.
Start by understanding that you control the threads; they do not control you.
That means use them in ways that serve your purposes as a stitcher — and this may not be the way you use a solid thread.
Start by looking at your canvas. How many colors do you need for the area? What are they?
With your shopping list of colors, look for a thread. If you find a thread that has only the colors you need — perfect. You can start stitching. If you find a thread that has the colors you need plus a color you don’t need, check to see if you can cut out those areas. If you can, start stitching. If you can’t, keep looking.
Before you start to stitch, unwind a fairly long length of the thread. Notice how the colors line up, get a feel for what the thread looks like when the colors change.
Now you are ready to stitch. Begin stitching the area that matches the starting area of your thread. If you finish this bit before the color runs out, move to another area in that color. When the thread changes color, move to an area in that color.
Remember to stitch in straight lines, i.e. Continental.
Continue stitching, moving from area to area as the color changes until your entire area is stitched.
It is highly probable that you’ll stitch all the areas in one shade before the areas in the other shades are complete. When this happens, you will need to cut out the areas of this color with each new length of thread. If they are 18″ or longer, put them in your scrap bag. If shorter, just consider them ORTs.
Yes, you are skipping around, but you will love how quickly you can stitch areas like this when you use multi-colored threads.