Thursday, January 13, 2011

A New Year & No Knots

Welcome to the New Year! StitchMap is gearing up for a year of excitement and great stitching opportunities. We will have many new classes and other learning opportunites to offer in 2011. There will be GREAT new Challenges, Trivia Teasers and Courses that will be free to all members. Our first course of the year already began this week. We have 9 mentors working with 23 apprentices on Color Theory. The waiting list is filling up for the April Color Theory Class as you are reading this. March will see us beginning a new group of apprentices in the Basic Crazy Quilting Course. There will be some new to MAP courses beginning after that.

We asked our members to give us an idea of the types of things they would like to see shared on this blog. Tutorials was a popular answer. So, in keeping with the spirit of StitchMap and all the sharing that we do on our group, we are going to share one of our picture tutorials with the cyber world. We hope it helps everyone who has a problem with twisted threads .

We have a bunch of short picture tutorials on MAP that cover a myriad of useful things a good needlewoman should know how to do. This one is for those who are tired of dealing with twisted threads while they are stitching. If you will take the time to separate the floss into single plies and then set them back together side by side before threading your needle it will make a world of difference. Your floss will be less likely to twist around itself and snarl while you are stitching. Many stitchers are reluctant to separate their floss because they don't like the tangles and knots that are so frequently the result when they tackle the job. This is a simple and very effective method that will almost always avoid causing knots if done correctly.

© A StitchMap Tutorial

Cut a strand of 6 ply DMC floss into a length of 24 - 30”.

Using your left hand, hold the floss in a semitight pinch about 3/8” from the top so that all of the floss ends are exposed and the freshly cut ends are hanging down below your fingers. (Left handed people can just reverse the instructions)

Using your right index finger, tap the ends of the floss lightly until the plies begin to separate.

Grasp one of the separated plies of thread with your right index finger and thumb. Pinch it securely and pull it slowly upward and away from your left hand moving slightly to the right.

The excess floss in your left hand will bunch up somewhat behind your fingers as the single ply of floss is being pulled out.

When the single ply of floss is totally removed from the strand simply shake the floss in your left hand and the bunching should fall back down without making knots. If need be, you can lightly stroke it back into a straight strand in order to pull out your next ply.

NOTE: This method works well with many types of threads and fibers.

We hope this proves to be something that you will begin to do automatically each time you get out your needle and thread to embroider or quilt. If you would like to learn more about how to do traditional hand stitching techniques and join in the fun we have planned for this year....please click on the StitchMap button in the sidebar.

Everyday is a good day if you are learning needle play! Happy stitching in 2011!