After you have been stitching for a while, you will learn to look at your work with a more critical eye.
Here are a series of lessons for people who would like to refine their stitching abilities.
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Lesson #1 The Importance of a Doodle
Years ago a group of stitchers asked me for a list of what I thought would improve their stitching the most. At the top of that list was a doodle canvas.
Here is a list of the reasons I believe in using a doodle canvas right along side almost every piece I stitch.
When I have a difficult part to stitch, I ‘warm up’ by practicing on a doodle canvas. It is a useful way to remind myself of the stitch sequence and make certain I have it down cold so that I can concentrate on tension and an even work flow. It just gets my fingers moving.
Sometimes if I have been away from stitching for several days I take a few stitches on a doodle even for an easy pattern, just to work out rusty fingers.
I always test a thread on a doodle canvas to make certain that the thread behaves the way I hope, to see what a stitch and thread look like together, to see how the thread integrates with my stitching style, to judge a patch of one stitch next to another, to adjust the weight of the thread.
I use a doodle to work out color sequences, to see if certain colors do indeed look good next to each other. Remember, the only two color rules I use every day are these: color changes according to the amount you use and color changes according to what it’s next to. Doodle canvases help in particular with the latter.
Whenever I do a small repeat blackwork pattern, I work on a doodle canvas till I memorize the repeat pattern; then I am less likely to make mistakes in the sequence.
All around I couldn't operate without a doodle. It is an integral part of my stitching life. As soon as you feel comfortable with the basics, I would suggest you begin stitching with a doodle beside you.
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