Stitch of the Month
March 1998: Diagonal Tent (Basketweave) Stitch

by Beth Robertson

This stitch will be your work horse as it can be used in large or small areas. It is great for backgrounds, areas with large amounts of shading, or when you want a smooth effect, as it produces little pattern or texture. It is best to use this stitch when working designs that will have a lot of use such as chair seats, foot stools, rugs, purses, and belts. The stitch produces little canvas distortion and wears very well. The name Basketweave comes from the reverse side of the stitch. When worked properly it produces a Basketweave pattern.

To obtain the best results with this stitch, it is important to understand how to read the grain of the canvas. Mono canvas is made up of threads that are woven over and under each other. The point where the canvas threads cross is called an intersection. These intersections alternate with a vertical thread on top then a horizontal thread on top. This pattern repeats vertically and horizontally across the canvas. A diagonal row of intersections has either all vertical threads on top or all horizontal threads on top.

Diagonal Tent or Basketweave is worked in diagonal rows up and down the canvas. Work the rows down, from upper left to lower right, over vertical threads. Work the rows up, from lower right to upper left, over horizontal threads. Using this method allows you to easily find where you stopped. It also prevents diagonal ridges that can occur by working two adjacent rows in the same direction. When starting and ending threads, be sure to always secure them vertically or horizontally on the back of the canvas. This also prevents ridges from developing in your needlework.

In the diagram on the right, the stitch is unfilled so you can see the over/under grid beneath the stitches.

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