Saturday, May 30, 2009

X-Stitch to Needlepoint and Back

I saw counted cross stitch for the first time in the late 70's in San Antonio, where the Yarn Barn had a class to teach it (I was there visiting Bobbi). They were using a needlepoint chart from Maggie Lane's NEEDLEPOINT BY DESIGN, and it was really really pretty!. We all thought it was a lovely idea, as there would be no background to stitch. Also, working the M.L. designs were difficult for most people to try in needlepoint right off the charts - as basketweave is confusing that way.( I always went ahead and drew the patterns onto canvas before stitching, so I could relax.)

Anyway, lately, there seem to be some people confused about "converting" the charts one way or the other - but it's actually the same thing once you understand the presentation of the design.

The first picture is how a X-stitch chart would appear, with the squares filled in. To do this in needlepoint, simply make a stitch where each square is.

Considering using 18 mesh canvas or 18 count Aida - the size will be the same. I think what may be confusing is that the lines on graph paper to most of us needlepointers represent the threads on the open scrim that is needlepoint canvas, whereas the little colored squares represent the solid fabric for counted X-stitch. I have demonstrated this by making "stitches" in colored ink on the lines instead of filling in the squares on the exact same graph paper.

To do this in needlepoint, however, I would first DRAW it onto the canvas with my pen I use for designing - as I am entirely too lazy to try to look back and forth from chart to canvas to stitch.
Equally, to convert this needlepoint chart to X-stitch, just make the X's on your fabric where the little needlepoint stitches are indicated. That's all there is to it. There is nothing difficult or mysterious about it!!
I have thought that counted X-stitch would do well with the wonderful novelty fibers we have, and also some of the decorative stitches. The "bump" stitch, Smyrna Cross would do well - and a lace border could be worked, as well as other effects.
On the left is Smyrna Cross in needlepoint, where it goes over 2 x 2 canvas threads. On the right is the way it would work on Aida cloth - the count is still 2 x 2 stitches, but using the squares instead. In plain words, you could use a needlepoint pattern for lace to easily make the same effect in counted X-stitch!
I saw this confusion once when I was teaching by e-mail a friend who wanted to do work with Waste canvas on a quilt block. She did not know needlepoint, so was confused by my charts, as she kept trying to put X-s over the 2 x 2 threads, as one would do in X-stitch, so that the motif became HUGE. I can't illustrate this without pictures - but you get the idea.
Anyway, later this evening, I have a post to make about a tree pattern that could easily be translated to counted X-stitch and decorated accordingly!!

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