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Michelangelo's Creation

Needlepoint
Frequently Asked Questions


We have found that many of our customers have the same questions — so here are a few of the most frequently asked questions and their answers. If you've got a question, feel free to ask us by using the form at the bottom of this page.

Why use paternayan yarn?
It is the most versatile of needlepoint yarns. It can be used as it comes, in strands of three threads loosely twisted together or "three ply", for coarse stitching. The strands also can easily be pulled apart for one-or two-ply finer stitching. You simply lift one ply or thread away from the others.

This yarn always works up evenly. Its slightly rough texture not only insures long wear but adds depth to the colors when the work is finished. The color range is adequate for all but the most minutely detailed project. There are three or four shades of each color.

Paternayan yarn has been a standard for needlepointers for over 60 years. It was developed by two Armenian emigres in 1916. The lust and strength of the yarn was once used for the repair of Persian rugs. It is made of 100% virgin wool that comes from New Zealand.

How much wool do I need?
It is all well and good to prepare a chart of how much wool will cover so much canvas. But we find people work so differently that one may use as much as a third more yarn on a given area than another because of working loosely. Others pull tightly and use far less yarn.

Our advice is to forget about trying to buy the exact amount of yarn you think you need for a particular project. We include what we think will be plenty for the canvases we sell. Left over wool from one project is inspiration for the next. Matching leftover colors, if you then need to reorder more, is no longer the problem it has been in the past.

How long can I keep the yarn?
Once upon a time, wool was not mothproof. Today, most wools are permanently mothproofed and will keep indefinitely.

Which stitch uses more yarn?
When you work in the basketweave stitch, you will use about a third more yarn than if you cover the canvas with the continental stitch.

What kind of needle should be used?
We supply you with two steel needles. These needles will see you through a number of projects.

What is the difference between continental and basketweave?
The continental stitch is horizontal or vertical sequences of stitches in a single line, broken or unbroken. The stitches are placed in rows corresponding to the horizontal or vertical threads of the canvas. This is the equivalent in the needlepoint of rows of knitting.

The basketweave stitch (we give you a free direction sheet for this stitch with every kit) derives its name from the pattern the stitches make on the back of the canvas. They look no different on the front, or face, of the canvas. The stitches are place along diagonal rows of intersections of canvas threads. The rows of intersections are straight but a 45 degree angle to the vertical and horizontal threads of the canvas.

It is like you are building a pyramid in which the stitches of one row dovetail neatly between the stitches of the previous row. The pyramid gradually increases until you have reached the full diagonal dimension of the one-inch square, at which point the lengths of the rows will be decreased, instead of increased.

Which stitch to use?
The continental and basketweave stitch each have their advantages, each in their own way. The only time you should use the continental stitch is for putting a single row of stitches, in any direction. The basket weave stitch give depth and reality to a canvas, and stability to the finished product. Basket weave is used by most topnotch needlepointers.

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