Plastic Canvas Basic stitches
Working With Plastic Canvas When buying your canvas, remember that several different manufacturers produce plastic canvas. Because of this, there are often slight variations in canvas, such as different thicknesses of threads or a small difference in mesh size. Because of these variations, try to buy enough canvas for your entire project at the same time and place. As a general rule, it is always better to buy too much canvas and have leftovers than to run out of canvas before you finish your project. By buying a little extra canvas, you not only allow for mistakes, but have extra canvas for practicing your stitches. Scraps of canvas are also excellent for making magnets and other small projects. WORKING WITH YARN Worsted weight yarn has four plies which are twisted together to form one strand. When the instructions indicate 2-ply yarn, separate the strand of yarn and stitch using only two of the four plies. To allow for repairs and practice stitches, purchase extra yardage of each color. If you have yarn left over, remember that scraps of yarn are perfect for small projects such as magnets or when you need just a few inches of a particular color for another project. In addition to purchasing an adequate amount of each color of yarn, it is also important to buy all of the yarn you need to complete your project at the same time. Yarn often varies in the amount of dye used to color the yarn. Although the variation may be slight when yarns from two different dye lots are held together, the variation is usually very apparent on a stitched piece. For projects that show both sides of your work, it is important to keep both sides looking neat. Using longer strands will help avoid excessive yarn ends. Be careful to completely hide yarn ends under previously worked stitches. The lines of the canvas will be referred to as threads. However, they are not actually “threads” since the canvas is nonwoven. To cut plastic canvas pieces accurately, count threads (not holes) as shown in Fig. 1.Before cutting out your pieces, notice the thread count of each piece on your chart. The thread count is usually located above the piece on the chart. The thread count tells you the number of threads in the width and the height of the canvas piece. Follow the thread count and cut out a rectangle the specified size. Remember to count threads, not holes. If you accidentally count holes, your piece is going to be the wrong size. Follow the chart to trim the rectangle into the desired shape. You may want to mark the outline of the piece on your canvas before cutting it out. Use a China marker, grease pencil, or fine point permanent marker to draw the outline of your shape on the canvas. Before you begin stitching, be sure to remove all markings with a dry tissue. Any remaining markings are likely to rub off on your yarn as you stitch. WASHING INSTRUCTIONS If you used acrylic yarn for all of your stitches, you may hand wash plastic canvas projects in warm water with a mild detergent. Do not rub or scrub stitches; this will cause the yarn to fuzz. Allow your stitched piece to air dry. Do not put stitched pieces in a clothes•dryer. The,plastic canvas could melt in the heat of a dryer. Do not dry clean your plastic canvas. The chemicals used in dry cleaning could dissolve the plastic canvas. When piece is dry, you may need to trim the fuzz from your project with a small pair of sharp scissors. GENERAL INFORMATION 1.Fig.1shows how to count threads accurately. Follow charts to cut out plastic canvas pieces. 2. Backstitch used for detail (Fig.2), French Knots (Fig. 5), and Lazy Daisy Stitches (Fig.7 ) are worked over completed stitches. 3. Overcast Stitch (Fig. 9) is used for covering edges of pieces and for joining. STITCH DIAGRAMS Bring threaded needle up at 1 and all odd numbers and down at 2 and all even numbers. Backstitch: This stitch is worked over completed stitches to outline or define (Fig.2). It is sometimes worked over more than one thread. Backstitch may also be used to cover canvas as shown in Fig.3.Cross Stitch: This stitch is composed of two stitches (Fig. 4). The top stitch of each cross must always be made in the some direction. French Knot: Bring needle up through hole wrap yarn once around needle and insert needle in some hole, holding end of yarn with non-stitching fingers (Fig. 5). Tighten knot; then pull needle canvas, holding yarn until it released. Gobelin Stitch: This basic straight stitch is worked over two or more threads or intersections. The number of threads or intersections may vary according to the chart (Fig. 6). Lazy Daisy Stitch: Bring needle up at 1, make a loop and go down at 1 again (Fig. 7). Come up at 2, keeping yarn below needle’s point. Pull needle through and secure loop by bringing yarn over loop and going down at 2. Fig. 7 Mosaic Stitch: This three-stitch pattern forms small squares (Fig. 8). Overcast Stitch: This stitch covers the edge of the canvas and joins pieces of canvas (Fig. 9). It may be necessary to go through the some hole more than once to get an even coverage on the edge, especially at the corners.Smyrna Cross Stitch: This stitch is worked over two threads as a decorative stitch. Each stitch is worked completely before going on to the next (Fig. 10).Fig.10 Tent Stitch: This stitch is worked in vertical or horizontal rows over one intersection as shown in Fig. 11. Follow Fig. 12 to work the Reversed Tent Stitch. Sometimes when you are working Tent Stitches, the last stitch on the row will look “pulled” on the front of your piece when you are changing directions. To avoid this problem, leave a loop of yarn on the wrong side of the stitched piece after making the last stitch in the row. When making the first stitch in the next row, run your needle through the loop (Fig. 13). Gently pull yarn until all stitches are even.