Why some back stitching more difficult on aida
This issues used to be a bigger problem for me when I had an unjustified fear of deviating from the recommendations on a chart in any way. Now it most often arises when using free card kits that come with magazines. The Margaret Sherry Mouse, pictured below, and the Lickle Ted design that is my current lunch time project are two such examples.
|Margaret Sherry Mouse Card Kit|
Then I get to the back stitching and this is when I wish I had gone to my stash. Both of these projects have small back stitches that may not start or end in a hole in the fabric. In fact they can appear out of anywhere within the stitch square. For instance if you look at the picture below, this is a close up of the ear of the mouse framed above.
In the circled section you can see that the chart called for the backstitching to come up about half way between the two top holes, piercing the fabric, and go down in the centre of the aida square, again piercing the fabric. Not only is this difficult to do, as it can be difficult to push the needle through the fabric, but it can also be hard to get the placement just right. I have often had to rip out stitching because it was askew.
Back stitching is a good thing
It must be pointed out that in both of these charts it is this type of backstitching that gives the piece its charm. These smaller backstitches are often used in projects where the subject has fur or is fluffy. The chicks in my recent Somebunny to Love project are another example of this type of back stitching and I think the effect is very sweet. While this type of stitching is difficult it gives some really pretty results.
|Somebunny to Love - The World of Cross Stitching Issue 179|
|Ultimate Joan Elliott Collection - Thanks You Cards|
When working on medium/large piece, that has a lot of this small back stitching, I will usually use evenweave. It makes the piece significantly easier to do. tHis is because with evenweave you stitch over 2 strands of fabric. (This can make it a slightly more difficult fabric to work with overall and something I would not recommend to an absolute beginner.) Working over 2 for cross stitch means, you come up through one hole on the fabric, skip the next one diagonally and go down through the following hole. When a chart calls for small back stitches it means that instead of having to pierce the fabric, as you do with aida, you can just use the pre-existing holes.
The above image shows a small back stitch which came up through the hole on the left and down through the very next hole to the right. In aida the same stitch would mean having to pierce the fabric between the two holes in the fabric. Working on evenweave makes the whole process easier, less time consuming, less tiresome on my hands and leads to less ripping out.
This does not mean that I never use aida for these types of projects. The Lickle Ted project I am currently working on has small back stitching yet I am still using the enclosed aida as it is only a small project. However below are two projects for which, I really wish I had used evenweave. Though I think they still look great on the aida.
|Margaret Sherry - Hedgehog - Summer Fun Booklet|
|Lickle Ted with Star - The World of Cross Stitching Issue 167|
I would love to know your thoughts and if you have any other tips for working difficult back stitch on projects please leave a comment below.
I am still working on getting the images together for my gridding tutorial, hopefully you will see that in the next week.