Sawtooth can be found in the middle row below Dolley Madison Star. It uses textured stitches.
Textured stitches are one of the real delights of needlepoint. They add interest to your canvas, create different impressions and provide the stitcher with a much more interesting project than simply doing Tent Stitch.
When using textured stitches on a canvas, there are a few guidelines to remember.
- Match the texture with the item being stitched. The focal point of the canvas should be the boldest and most noticeable stitch, while the background should be the least assertive. This can be done with the choice of stitches (larger stitches are more noticeable), the choice of thread (overdyes stand out more than solid) and the choice of color (warm colors stand out more than cool).
- There should always be some areas of calm in a canvas, where the eye can rest. Generally, but not always, this is achieved with tent stitching.
- Make sure the pattern is the right size for the area to be stitched; if three complete repeats of the pattern do not fit both across and up and down the pattern, the stitch is too large — choose another, smaller stitch. This much repetition is needed so that the eye is “tricked” into completing the pattern where there are only partial repeats.
- Use partial stitches to fill in around any leftover space around the complete stitches (they will not be needed much in this block).
The threads used are:
- Watercolours Amethyst 1 strand (thick open diagonal on chart), center square
- Impressions 1095 (thin diagonals on chart), outer blocks on cross
- Impressions 1091 (open straight symbols on chart), corner square
- Cotton Plus 2592 (solid straight symbols on chart),
- Silk Mori 1092 (solid diagonals on chart), inner blocks on cross
The main chart for this block (below) consists of the center square and the four squares which are divided into rectangles. These blocks all use stitches which are done on the diagonal.
When doing textured stitches in needlepoint, it is important to think about the overall look of the piece and what areas should stand out. Typically this will be the focal point of the picture or the center of the piece if it is geometric. This is where the most eye-catching thread and/or your highest texture should be used. In this case, the Watercolours is in the center because it is the only multicolored thread. A strong variation of the Cashmere Stitch accents the color change.
Every piece should contain a bit of Tent Stitch to rest the eye and provide a smooth texture. The gray parts of the rectangular pieces provide this resting point.
Begin by doing a Tent Stitch block using 1095 Impressions (this will help you place the rest of the areas). Each block of Tent Stitches is a rectangle 18 threads by 8 threads. Start with the rectangle in the center top of the patch. The first row of tent stitches should begin 19 threads from the edge of the patch and on the thread directly under the row of Cliff’s Stitch.
Stitch the entire patch by beginning with the center top block, doing the Nobuko (below),using Silk Mori, just below the first Tent Stitch block moving onto the center square and then continuing with the rectangular blocks all around it. Then stitch the triangular blocks at the corners. These blocks on the Master Chart are clarted as Tent Stitch to show placement.
The remainder of the center squares are done using the Silk Mori in Nobuko Stitch (diagrammed above). Although the final effect looks complex, the stitch is surprisingly easy to do. It is rows of Tent Stitch followed by a longer diagonal stitches going over three threads, with the center thread being the same one the Tent Stitch crossed. The subsequent rows are placed by putting the longer stitches in the same diagonal line as the short tent stitches.
The area to stitch in Nobuko is 18 threads by 10 threads. Begin directly under one of the areas of Tent Stitches. Work in rows across the longest dimension of the rectangle. Make a row and then fit in the first complete long stitch of the row beneath it. Compensate around it if needed and then continue along the row.
The center square is done in a Cashmere Stitch pattern taken from brickwork called herringbone (diagrammed below). Cashmere Stitches are placed alternately either horizontally or vertically across the block. The square is done with a single strand of Watercolours. This is an excellent place to use those leftover strands from the first block. Begin in the top left corner with the first full stitch and then work down a diagonal row. Then work up one of the sides.
When working with multicolored threads, it is useful to colormatch them as much as possible. The easiest way to do this if working with full threads of Watercolours is to take a second strand from the same thread, but thread the opposite end through the needle. Do the same with the third strand from the thread. When moving to another thread, or when using leftovers, look for a new thread which has one end which is the same color as the last stitches of the previous thread. That is the thread to use next. Thread the opposite end of the strand, stitching the matching color first.
Complete these blocks and the central square, then stitch the corner blocks using the other two threads and following the instructions below. Below are the charts for each of the corners.
Now move along to the corner patches. These cover 18 threads square (or 19 stitches). The diagrams above show each corner. Work the triangles in Ty-Di (dark lines) first. Then fill in with two strands of Impressions.
The outside triangles are done using two strands of Impressions in a variation of the Parisian Stitch. It ends up looking rounded when it is completed, so it makes an excellent stitch for round or oval objects since its lines don’t fight with the overall shape.
The inner triangles are done using a single strand of the violet Ty-Di Cotton Plus in a great straight stitch, Victorian Step. It too is made up of straight stitches over four threads. Groups of three are followed by a single stitch, up a step. It is lots of fun to do and makes a great background.
When this block is completed, do not forget to do the Cliff’s Stitch borders all around it (stitch diagram is found on page 4), except at the bottom of the Sawtooth Block which hits the outer borderFollow the project on-line: