Hello stitching friends,
We are pleased to announce that we are (once again) accepting Discover. Yes, we said so before, but this time we mean it! (We moved to a setup that included Discover, found we had made a bad move, and went back — but now our original setup includes Discover, so we anticipate no further hiccups.)
We have a pattern award! Denise B. of Cleveland, Ohio, was the first to suggest Queen Guinevere's Maying - John Collier (see below), and we are sending her a copy of the pattern as a thank-you for a fine suggestion!
Anchoring technique: Floss lasso
You probably know a number of anchoring techniques (and if not, you can read about them in our tips section). You can use a loop start if you are stitching with a solid color, or a pinhead stitch if you're stitching over 2 — but what if you're stitching with blended colors on aida (show of hands, please)? The only real option has been to anchor your floss by running it under existing stitches, both at the beginning and end, and if there are a lot of starts and stops in an area, the back gets very congested quickly. We set out to find a better way, and here it is: the floss lasso. It works with one strand or two (or more!), stitching over one or two, linen, aida, you name it. It has a very small footprint, and although you still have to end by running the floss under existing stitches, it does help a lot with crowding on the back.
Here's how to do it.
1-2. Holding the tail end of the floss (1/2" to 3/4", or 1-2 cm), make the first leg of the cross as usual. Come up for the second leg of the cross, but don't pull the floss all the way through. Leave a loop on the back which is 1-2" (2-4 cm) long. At this point, the front looks like picture 1 and the back looks like picture 2.
3. Let go of the tail, flip the work over and drop the loop over the loose end (picture 3). (If you have pulled the floss too far and the loop is too small, just pull the needle and the floss will come right out of the fabric and you can start again.)
4. Grab the tail again and pull the loop snug against the tail (picture 4). Murmuring "Come a-ti-yi-yippee" is optional outside Texas.
5. Now let go of the tail and pull the floss just a little more. The loop flips down to hold the tail securely (picture 5). Don't pull too tight or the loop will pull the tail through to the top of the fabric. You can now cut the tail off (not too short — you need a tad to poke out of the lasso so the lasso has something to hold onto).
Continue stitching normally — from your current position (the top still looks like picture 1), you can either complete the first cross or go on to make the first half of the next cross. If the next cross is not directly to the right of the first, you must complete the first cross before going on.
We have been testing the floss lasso for several months and it has worked well on a variety of fabrics, and has stayed put when washed. So give it a try and tell us what you think!
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