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how do I needlepoint?



If you're right-handed, stitch from right to left. If you're left-handed, you may want to mirror these instructions, start on the left, and stitch from left to right.


I. You can start anywhere on the canvas. You may want to start with a big block of color, or in the top right corner.

II. Take the corresponding yarn color and cut a piece of yarn about 18" long. Thread your needle and leave a tail.

III. Start your canvas using A Single Stitch and The Waste Knot techniques. Continue to stitch using The Continental and/or The Basketweave techniques.  


TIP! If this is your first needlepoint, use a small area of unprinted canvas to practice stitching.   

A Single Stitch

Your canvas is a grid of colors. Notice the color printed on one perpendicular point, or intersection. This is the color yarn to use for this stitch.

I. Pull your needle from the back of the canvas up through the front, at the bottom left square [1] and pull through.

II. Push your needle through the top right square [2] and pull yarn through to the back.  You've made a single stitch!

TIP! Make sure the yarn is snug enough to fully cover the painted canvas, and not so tight that the canvas starts to pull and warp.  

The Continental Tent Stitch

With this stitching technique, you stitch in horizontal rows, with your first row going from right to left.

I. Start your row by bringing your needle up from the back to the front of the canvas at [1]. Push your needle down and through to the back of the canvas at [2], and pull your yarn through. Continue to come up at the odd numbers and go down at the even numbers.

II. When you finish your first row, rotate the canvas 180 degrees (the image is now upside down), and begin working again from right to left.

The Basketweave

Work in diagonal rows of stitches with this technique. instead of horizontal rows, like The Continental.


I. Start at the top right corner of the color area you are stitching. Bring your needle up to the front of the canvas on the odd numbers, and go down through to the back on the even numbers.

II. Continue stitching each row for as many stitches as it takes to get to the edge of the color you are stitching. As you use this technique, you will stitch down into holes that are occupied and come up through open holes.


The Waste Knot

We don't use this often, but the waste knot is a great technique to help your stitches stay in place when first start your canvas.

I. Thread your strand of yarn and make a knot on the other end.

II. Count about eight stitches to the left of where you want to start your first stitch. Keep the knot on top of the canvas and push your needle through to the back.  

III. Pull the yarn along the back side of the canvas until you get to where you want to put your first stitch.


IV. Using the technique for A Single Stitch, begin your needlepoint.



I. When you finish either a color or your piece of yarn, complete one last stitch so that your needle is pushed to the back of your canvas.

II. Weave your needle through an inch of finished stitches on the back side of your canvas to keep the tail in place.

III. Cut the remaining loose length of yarn.




I. Cut a piece of yarn 18" long and thread your needle.

II. Run your yarn through stitches on the back of your canvas, with the needle going in the direction of where you want to start stitching. If your yarn pulls through, try again.

III. Once you stitch your first stitch, the yarn will stay in place.


This video will show you the continental tent stitch--a good needlepoint stitch to get you started.

This video will show you the basketweave stitch--a bit more advanced, but provides greater coverage for you canvas.

finished your stitching?  Here is a simple way to frame your needlepoint.

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