Updated August 16, 2019.
If you stitch Basketweave, you probably recite “Firemen go up stairs and down poles” to keep track of the direction of the rows. Doing this results in stitching that has the woven back that gives the stitch its name, below.
Stitch two rows in the same direction next to each other and you get ridges in your needlepoint.
But what happens when you stitch Skip Tent? All your stitches are on either stairs or poles but your rows go up and down. If only every other diagonal row is stitched, don’t worry about the direction of your rows. The open canvas means you don’t have two adjacent rows going the same direction.
Some techniques, such as David’s Stucco Stitch, start with Skip Tent but add a second color in the open rows. Stitch as you normally would, up one row and down the next and you’ll get diagonal ridges all over the place.
Here are three ways to solve it:
- Stitch everything in horizontal rows. Because you are skipping every other stitch in every row, you won’t have the ridges problem.
- Stitch the first color in regular Skip Tent. Stitch the second color Continental style (horizontal rows). This is what I usually do.
- Stitch the first color in regular Skip Tent. Stitch the second color in Backstitch rows. These rows are solid, not dotted and slant the opposite direction from the Skip Tent rows. The series of diagrams below shows this technique. The green arrows on the left diagram show the direction of the rows in the first step.
The on the lighthouse, above, was stitched this way. You can see how easily it gives a fine texture.
I don’t worry about great tension when I’m doing this. Because I’m usually using it to stitch stucco, adobe, or textured surfaces, a bit of unevenness is OK.