Hello stitching friends,The ladies may not be aware of it, but a lot of men cross stitch, so we are regularly on the lookout for ideas for "guy patterns". David Akin of Sidney, Ohio, suggested Lumber Schooners at Evening on Penobscot Bay by Fitz Hugh Lane and we have sent him a copy of this new pattern (shown below).
We feel a little like a broken record, but there are new pictures in the gallery and they are really worth taking a look at!
Railroading is a method used in cross stitching to make sure that the two strands of floss in a stitch lie flat and parallel to each other instead of being twisted or one sitting on top of the other. (We've also heard this called "training the floss".) It will increase the uniformity of your stitches, improve fabric coverage, and make blended colors really work by making sure that each color shows equally. Here's how to do it:
If your non-stitching hand is free, you may keep a finger on the extended floss as you complete the stitch (location shown by the finger in the diagram). This is totally optional, though.
Sometimes railroading instructions just say to come up, put the needle between the strands, and go down, but we find that the key to making this work is having the floss stretched flat against the fabric.
Some people only railroad the top leg of each stitch, although you get the best results if you railroad both. Like any new technique it may seem time-consuming and awkward at first, but with practice it can become second nature. We hope you'll find this a helpful technique, but if you don't, don't do it! Remember, stitching is supposed to be fun!