Mar 5, 2009

Securing Threads

You've cut your thread, separated the strands, and threaded the needle. Now what? How do you make first stitch(es) and secure the thread?? There are several ways do it it.

The two most common ways are the anchor method and loop method.

Anchoring or Weaving
Anchoring happens at the beginning. Weaving occurs at the end. When making your first stitch, pull the needle up through the fabric and leave about 1/2 inch of thread on the backside of the fabric. As you create your first few stitches, the thread (or "tail") is covered so that the floss is secured in place. It takes a little time to make sure you 'catch' the tail on the backside, but well worth it! Weaving is essentially the same thing only in reverse. When you're finished with a color or line of stitches, you slide your threaded needle under 4-5 stitches on the backside of the fabric. Then trim the floss close to the fabric.

Loop Method

Starting out, you can secure your thread via the loop method. Take one strand of thread floss, fold it in half. Thread the two free ends through the eye of the needle (You should have a loop dangling). Bring the needle/thread up from back of the fabric to the front, leaving the loop dangling in back. Form the first half of the cross stitch by putting the needle trhough from front to back. As you pull it through, slip the needle into the loop on the backside. Viola! The thread is secured. (Note: You shouldn't use this method when using varigated threads, if you want to get the full effect of variation.)

Waste Knot
I don't really know any stitchers who do this, but this might be easier some who've had problems with anchoring. Thread the needle and knot one end of the floss. Push the needle down from the front of the fabric a short distance away from the area you want to start stitching. Then start stitching, covering the thread with the first few stitches. When the thread is securely covered the knot can be snipped from the end.


Jennifer said...

DH has started using this method and really likes it.

Chiloe said...

Next: those lonely single stitches that bother me so much: any idea?

Carol R said...

I use an 'away' thread. I put the needle down away from the design area and come up where I need to start, after stitching I weave the thread and then go back - re-thread my needle with the 'away' thread and weave that.

Bette said...

When you are working with a variegated thread, you cannot use the loop start. So I always use a waste knot, usually placed only about 4 stitches away from where I want to start the stitching.

BTW, like the song by Trisha Yeargood.

Marita said...

Interesting I'd not heard of the last two methods before. Thank you for blogging about this. Now I have more options :)

Debra said...

I think Milly uses the waste knot. I anchor.

Patricia Cecilia said...

I do an anchored waste knot: I make the waste knot, then run the thread under 4-6 stitches facing the hole I want to come up through, then start stitching. At the end, after weaving in the tail, I go back and cut off the knot. Every so often I run my fingertip over the back and snip off knots I've missed. (I hate rethreading just to end the stitching!) And if there are no stitches under which to anchor, I stitch over the end, using the waste knot to feel where the end is.

too_busy_to_stitch said...

I use the loop method where appropriate, and the waste knot otherwise. Now, confetti stitches...??

Jenna said...

I use the loop start whenever possible, except when using overdyed threads, like you mentioned. I do tend to use waste knots when I'm doing hardanger.