Updated July 16, 2018
An awful lot of canvases have one-thread wide lines in them. Not that this is a recent development, but just that I finally noticed it.
Yes, you can do Tent Stitch and, very often, that’s the right thing to do. But sometimes you want to “kick it up a notch,” as the saying goes. One easy way to spiff up these lines is to change between Tent and Reverse Tent in a regular pattern.
I’ve also developed several stitches that I often use to make those single-thread lines stand out. The picture above shows some and in this post, I describe them and a couple of others.
Oblique Continental & Reverse Oblique Continental
These stitches take the basic Tent Stitch and elongate it, so instead of “over 1 and up 1” it becomes “over 2 and up 1.” I like it because it becomes an almost ropey look. I also like that it seems to stand up a bit more than Tent. This stitch, in either slant, it the one I use most often when I want a different type of line.
Dashes & Dots
Another way to change a one-stitch line is to add Cross Stitches over a single thread. This could be as simple as alternating between the two stitches. Or you could make a more decorative pattern as I did here, with longer lines of Tent (dashes) separated by one Cross (dots)
Four-way Continental when done in a single line creates a slight wavy look. I think it’a great for a line that is going to stick out from the surrounding design, like a snowman’s pipe stem or a perch on a birdhouse.
Single-line Wavy Gobelin
You might think of this as a form of elongated Four-way Continental. Oblique stitches alternate in slants. I think the finished look is far more wavy than Four-way Continental and that it is quite an unusual look.
I love this stitch because it creates a thin, seamless line. It also is a great solution if you need to outline something, or make a single curved line. This stitch will stand up from the canvas slightly. Also be aware that this stitch is thinner than the other stitches here, so be sure to stitch underneath the line where you will put this stitch.
Whipped Chain Stitch
If you want a bolder but still seamless line, you can’t do better than Whipped Chain Stitch. Like Whipped Backstitch, it is seamless and works around curves. But it is thicker (it will cover a line well) and it stands out even more. Whipped Chain Stitch is a great solution for lines that you really want to have stand out.