I’m a lefty. If you think this shouldn’t make much difference in how you live your life, you are almost certainly right-handed and don’t live with lefties.
It does. I’ve mostly conquered the stitching thing by working on frames. When you work on a frame, it’s your dominant hand which is on the bottom, so stitches are made the same way.
Even so, I rarely know if I make a stitch properly, because I make it how it makes sense to me, which, being a lefty, means it might be wrong.
But one thing I cannot overcome, no matter what I do is my Basketweave problem. Unless I have stitches adjacent to each other, I can change the direction and start doing Reverse Basketweave.
Three stitches away (so the existing stitches are right in front of me), a inch, or the other edge of the canvas — it doesn’t matter. I’ve tried drawing arrows, adding extra thumbtacks to the corner, writing “top.” None of it works for me.
The only thing which does is keeping the canvas oriented the same way and chanting “up and to the right” as I start a new area.
So if you see me muttering to myself while stitching, you know I’m doing Basketweave.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
Joyce Shannon says
Of course you are doing a stitch properly – it just might have a different name from the one that the original stitch had. As long as all the stitches in the area look the same, it’s proper.
At least that’s what I keep telling myself….
Ann Whitaker-Sauls says
I’m a leftie and have been stitching half a century now and teaching 20 yrs.
The only difference is the canvas orientation. Being a south-paw doesn’t change the stitch just the way you hold the canvas – frame or not. Depending on the piece, stithces to be used and threads (all variables) one can work in one’s hand – holding the canvas in one’s right hand instead of left – or on a frame. I do both all the time.
Basketweaving: The zig-zag can be thought of as hills and valleys if one is holding the diagonal line of stitched basketweave horizonal to yourself. Or you can hold the canvas oriented so the diagonal line is diagonal. The canvas will have the design upright or upside down. You should see what looks like stairsteps. I prefer the hills and valleys approach. … The hole closest to the valley is your up move. putting the needle into the valley is your down move. Two separate moves. When you are comfortable with that you can switch to the scooping method. Then think of Basketweave as the needle staying parallel to the threads of the canvas.You are scooping under one hole to come up in the hole closest to the valley. Just keep in mind the needle parallet to the canvas threads. One way you’ll go one direction and your needle will oriented to the opposite parallel on the way back. YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO TURN YOUR CANVAS TO RE-ORIENT.
When you are looking at a book and trying to orient your stitch, turn the book upside down. Instead of going by letters or numbers, go by where one comes up and goes down.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for giving this explanation of Basketweave, I hadn’t seen this approach before.
I have a basketweave question-
The canvas I’m working on is mostly white but has a border of two different dark pinks. I’d like to start with the white in order to avoid picking up any of the pinks. Can I turn my canvas upside down and continue basketweave when I’m ready to start the pink border? This will allow me to stay in clean holes- but I’m not sure if it will change the look of the basketweave?
Janet M Perry says
I would try to keep the canvas oriented the same way throughout, and not turn it upside down. If you are doing BW correctly youshould be going out of clean holes unless there is an already stitched area to your left of all the stitches.
Going into or out of a clean hole is far less important than what the stitch looks like on the back. On the back the stitch MUST alternate between horizontal and vertical stitches in diagonal rows.
When you go DOWN a row the stitches are VERTICAL.
When you go UP a row, the stitches are HORIZONTAL.
It’s hard to judge when you have turned the canvas upside down & are starting again from the “new” upper right if the rows will match up at the end.
Because of this I would not do it.