Updated November 8, 2022.
How often do you get stumped for needlepoint stitches for small spaces? You might be like one of my readers who wrote to complain that the recommended stitch just looked too big. Or you might be like me, avoiding stitching a lovely canvas because it has too many small areas.
My frustration with this problem has led me to develop lots of variations based on Tent Stitch. Here are some great ones.
Tiny Knitting is columns of alternating Tent and Reverse Tent. In one color, it really does look like knitting. In two, it creates an interesting stripe in small spaces.
Tent-Cross Check is the smallest of checks. It alternates Tent and Cross Stitch over one intersection to create a textured pattern. It’s easy to keep track if you remember that the Tent Stitches will all be on either horizontal or vertical intersections.
Fuji Tent is a subtle Tent and Reverse Tent combination. The large Tent blocks alternate with Reverse Tent blocks to create just a bit of texture. This is most easily seen in shiny threads because the light reflects differently over the different slants.
Darcy’s Tent Check also takes advantage of this in a larger, less textured, check.
Messy Grass is a variation of a stitch found in the grass section of Landscape Stitches. Because the open lines aren’t all the same, this stitch is less grid-like.
Diana is another stripe pattern. It uses Tent, Reverse Tent, and Cross Stitch.
Swithin Wells is another stripe pattern. This has wider Tent Stitch columns between the columns of Cross Stitches. That creates a subtler pattern.
Open Continental Stripe uses open threads between columns of Continental. As long as the canvas is colored behind the stitches, this stitch works. If the color matches, it’s a damask stripe. If the colors don’t match, it looks like striped fabric.
Little V is an unusual small stitch because the stitches are all oblique (not on the true diagonal). The stitches alternate directions, making little v-shapes throughout. It packs lots of texture in a small space.
Are you looking for more great stitches for small spaces? Check out my two books, Heart Samplers and Big Book of Small Stitches. They are full of great stitches, most perfect for small areas. You can buy both in my Etsy shop in the printed books section.