How to do Tent Stitch

Stitch Diagrams for two Tapestry (Needlepoint) Stitches
– Continental Tent Stitch and Basketweave Tent Stitch.

There are more details about setting up your canvas on the Stitching Guide page.

Before you begin, make sure you are using the stitch recommended by your kit manufacturer – you may run out of yarn if you don’t.  Tent stitch diagrams are below.  Put a knot at the end of your yarn and decide where you wish to begin.  About an inch (2cms) away from there, push your needle down through one of the holes leaving the knot on the front of the canvas in the path of your first few stitches.  Bring your needle back up in the hole where you want to start your first stitch.  As you stitch towards the knot, you will catch the yarn at the back so that when you reach it, you can snip it off safely.  To finish off, when you are about 2ins (5cms) from the end of your yarn, slide the needle under a few stitches at the back of the work and snip it off.  From now on, you can do this to start new threads.  If you are using Half Cross Stitch you need to use the ‘catching’ method to both start and finish threads as there is far less wool on the back of the work to slide the needle under.

The Stitches Two versions of Tent Stitch and the choice is yours; however I recommend Basketweave.

Basketweave Tent Stitch
So called because of the woven effect on the back.
It is best for any large areas of colour, as it does not distort the canvas as much as other stitches and gives a more even finish.
Work up and down the diagonals, fitting each row into the previous row.
This stitch is well worth learning if you are not used to it. It will quickly become second nature.
Continental Tent Stitch
This stitch is worked in rows horizontally, from the left or right; or vertically, from top or bottom.
It is suitable for small areas of colour,
but on large areas can look ‘ridgy’
and it does distort the canvas as you work, particularly if you are not using a frame.