The Continental Stitch

The Continental Stitch
January 11, 2016 Erin
In Erin's blog

Here is a reprint of a popular tutorial that was published in my first blog, way back in 2012.  Enjoy!

The Continental Stitch is the workhorse needlepoint stitch.

Every beginner must know it, before moving on to more complex ones, such as the Basketweave, Diagonal Mosaic, Byzantine, Oriental, and Scotch Stitch variations.


Illo by Cheryl Fall. Used with permission.

Here’s how you “do the Continental.”

Think of the intersecting weave of a canvas as a group of plus signs. (See diagram.)

Each plus sign forms a quadrant.

Starting at the lower left box (1),  bring the needle up from under the canvas, and taking it down at the upper right box (2).

Bring the needle up from the lower left box (3), and bring it down again to upper right box (4).

Repeat till the end of the row.

When you have reached the end of the row, bring the needle up from below the canvas, through the upper right box of the row below it (17).  (Note the arrows on the diagram)

Bring the needle down through the lower left box (18).

Moving right to the next quadrant, bring the needle up through the upper right box (19), and down through the lower left one (20).

Repeat till the end of the row.

This repetitive stitch will get  you into the rhythm of needlepointing.

Make sure you pull the yarn gently, until you feel a little resistance, and not pull much beyond that.

This is called tension.

As a rule of thumb, you do not want your stitching to be too loose, nor too tight –  but as the phrase goes, just right.


You have now learned the Continental Stitch.



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