Hello, I am new to this forum but have been stitching for over 25 years. I have read most of the posts but haven't run across the exact question I have. I have worked other (avert your eyes SQ) large charts (but none as nice as SQ) and I have not tried the "parking" method with my needles. I don't mind the re-threading, but I wonder how others keep track of what is ON the parked needle. (What I do mind is all the lumps the starting and stopping creates.) Is it just me, or is there some trick/tip I am unaware of for knowing what all those loose (unmarked) threads are?
Thanks for any help, and I am looking forward to being a part of this great group.
Well, although I'm not a parker myself (will be giving that a go on my next project), from what I understand (and no doubt the girls will correct me if I'm wrong) I believe that you can keep track of your needles/thread colours by bringing them up in the next square you will need them and then when you come back to them referring back to your chart to see what colour is in that position. I know that sounds like a lot of checking back and I myself can only deduce (again the girls will correct me if I am wrong), that parking is a fair bit slower than carrying through with each colour as far as you can- but probably a fair bit neater too.
I myself will have parking questions to ask when the time comes, but for now I'll leave it to the experts.
Meredith Site Admin
Joined: 23 Feb 2004 Posts: 128
I park sometimes - mostly if I'm in an area that uses say 2-5 symbols more or less all mixed up - like in a background area. It gets too tangly for me if there are more than about 5 needles going. If you do it that way it's really faster than starting and stopping with each color, even if you leave the thread on the needles after you've anchored and cut the thread. You'd be looking up the symbol anyway if you didn't have a parked needle there (once you got to that spot, I mean). It also makes life easier in a couple of ways if you don't leave embedded holes - not as confusing about where you are, and easier to get the needle through the fabric.
You know what is on the needle because it is parked in the stitch-beginning hole of the symbol that corresponds to that color. I am probably not going to explain this very well, but when you park, you bring your needle up in that parking spot just as if you were going to make the first leg of that stitch. But, instead of continuing (up-right, in my case) to finish that first pass, you don't - you pull the thread through, and let it dangle.
So, when I'm working along, and I come across a hole with a thread in it, I don't even verify it (unless it looks really wrong, in which case I miscounted, and am off by a space or two), I just complete that stitch, and then repark that thread in the next closest symbol.
And some days, I work with just one needle, and some days I have up to 30 hanging - it depends on what's going on in the section I'm working in. If I have several colors that repeat throughout the area I am likely to finish in that sitting, I will leave needles on. If I am doing an area chock-full of confetti (Lady & Unicorn is mostly confetti), I'll work with 1 or 2 needles, since I may be able to see the next usage of that one symbol, but may not actually get to it before I put it up for the day.
Did that make even a little bit of sense??? It sounded good in my head
I'm using parking in 'The Young Gardener', and have a copy of the pattern I use to highlight the stiches I've done. It has been blown up to twice the size of the original pattern, so there is room for me to put a small dot in the place I have parked the threads. It makes it easier for me to identify which colour I put in that parking spot.
Another thing I've done: I cut a red fridge magnet into a small arrow and, because I use a magnet board for my pattern, I place the arrow at the stitch I am working on. It keeps me from going to the wrong place for the same symbol, which I could do frequently, or having to search for my place when I start stitching after a break.
I never know if these things could work for anyone else, but they work for me!!
I too now work exclusively with parking. Not to long ago I vowed that I would never do it because it seemed to crazy and I thought "oh, the tangles!" but I tried it and I love it! I don't leave a needle on each thread though. I only use one needle.
With my patterns I do a page at a time and I start on the left hand corner and start with the first symbol and work across the whole row and below where the symbol is close enough. However I only go down a few rows at a time so that I don't get carried away, then I park my thread until I come to that section again. After that symbol is worked to my satisfaction, I thread the next symbol across etc, etc. This way everything gets worked on the whole page from top to bottom with no gaps to fill in later.
As far as marking my pattern, tonight I used a mini sharpie in deep purple and just made simple / 's across the boxes I completed rather than completely highlighting all the boxes. Much quicker!