Counting Holes or Threads and Where to Start

by Lorraine

I'm a novice needlepointer and am so confused about how to follow a chart.

I've done a lot of preparation and in all the books (except one) I've read that each square on the chart is a stitch and corresponds with the holes in the canvas. But how can this be because you couldn't get a stitch in a hole?!!

I've now just read yet another book which kind of switched the light on - it said that you count the threads of the canvas, not the holes.

So I'd be most grateful if anyone could explain exactly what I should be counting. And where do I start, because instructions say to start in the centre but to stitch the design first - on my pattern the design isn't in the centre!

Ohhh, I so wanted to conquor needlepoint.

Kind regards to all
Lorraine

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Mar 19, 2009
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Thank You All
by: Lorraine

I just wanted to thank all those who gave me advice on following a chart and counting threads. I'm most grateful to you all. What a great site - I'm sure I'll be a frequent visitor.
Many heartfelt thanks again.
Lorraine

Mar 17, 2009
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Counting Holes or Threads and Where to Start
by: Valerie Kalyani

The stitch goes over threads. Four holes around the + that is the thread is how you count. The holes on one side of each stitch (Two holes) are the other side of the next stitch. So count the threads for placement, but stitch across them into the holes.

Mar 17, 2009
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Counting Holes or Threads and Where to Start
by: yoyo

To start in the middle. Again on Aida fabric.

Fold your material in half and mark the center line with a pin.
Now fold the material in half the other way and mark the center line with a pin. Open the fabric up and line up the two pins at the center point of the fabric and place one pin there. (remove the first two pins)

Now look at your chart. If there are no stitches in the center, then you must count the THREADS to the first stitch. Set your needle or a pencil on the chart, literally on the chart, at the point of the center hole (sorry but it is a hole on the paper) now slide your pencil sideways to the next hole...your pencil just moved OVER ONE THREAD. Do that again, slide sideways to the next hole, your pencil has now moved over 2 threads.....continue counting until you reach the first stitch marked on the chart. You may have to count across and down (or up) to find that first stitch. Keep track of the number of threads across and then the number of threads down (or up).

Let's say you had to move left 10 threads and down 6 threads. OK. Now go to your fabric and find your center where you have the pin marking it. Now count OVER 10 THREADS, then DOWN 6 THREADS and put your needing in that hole. This is where you begin stitching.

The entire chart will need counting, so you must learn to count over and down (or up) from where you are. If the chart has a short row of 6 stitches, stitch them. Then you must find the next stitch....hopefully it will be right there on top of (or below) the first few stitches, but if it is not....count over to it just like you counted over from the center.

If you do not count correctly the parts of the chart will not line up, so count carefully. Once you have learned this part the rest is a breeze. So take off running and enjoy your stitching.

Mar 17, 2009
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Counting Holes or Threads and Where to Start
by: yoyo

Let us hope that you do indeed have 14 ct aida fabric...it is truly so much easier for the beginner.

FORGET HOLES. There, wasn't that easy. When you look at your fabric you always count THREADS.

The needle will in fact go into a hole, yet what you really need count THREADS. Put the needle in a hole (for the moment any hole will do). Now, look at your thread in that hole. To make one cross stitch you will move your needle UP OVER ONE THREAD (see you are at another hole) now move the needle to the RIGHT OVER ONE THREAD (on aida fabric!!) and put the needle in that hole. You have made one half of the X.

Now from under your fabric move the needle straight down OVER ONE THREAD and put the needle in that hole. Back on top of your fabric you are going to move your needle UP OVER ONE THREAD and to the left OVER ONE THREAD and put the needle in that hole. Viola. You should now have an X on your fabric, and you will have put your needle through the four holes outlined in the comment above.

If you actually have an evenweave fabric or linen type fabric, like 28 ct. linen Follow the same instructions only replace the words "over one thread" with OVER TWO THREADS and do exactly the same.

If you learn by counting threads instead of holes, then later on you will be able to easily graduate to those stitches that go over 4, or 5 or 8 or N threads without a worry.

Gads, the widget says my post is too long so how to start stitching in a second comment.

Mar 17, 2009
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Counting the Holes and where to start
by: Liz

First of all, when you say needlepoint do you mean petit point, or cross-stitch. When you look at your material, and of course if your a beginner 14 count aida is best, then look at the holes, its like a square of material with four holes, one at each corner, for cross-stitch bring your needle up through the hole at the bottom left corner and put it through the top right corner, then bring it through the top of the left corner and put it through the bottom right corner, you have now made a cross-stitch, if it is petit point, it is just from the bottom left corner to the top right corner. But of course don't forget to thread the end of the cotton into the back of a few stitches, or you might lose your work. And as for the pattern, find the centre of the pattern, (even though there is no pattern there) then count how many stitches there are to the patten where you want to start, then find the centre of your material, and again count the same amount of squares and the next square is where your pattern starts.
Hope you can follow what I have said as it's not as easy to explain as it is to do, have you tried asking someone at your local craft shop to help you, as they are usually very helpful people, and a lot of these places have courses on how to cross-stitch as well as a lot of other kinds of sewing, good luck.

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