My Two Best Tapestry (Needlepoint) Stitches

Within the space of a week, two customers emailed asking if it would all right to use continental stitch for their tapestries.  In both cases they were worried that there would not be enough wool in the kit.

Indeed one customer thought there was a difference between Continental stitch and Tent stitch.
I don’t think there is, but she may have been thinking of Half Cross stitch which looks like Tent stitch on the front, but puts very little wool on the back, which means less wear. (It is also much more difficult to start and finish off your yarn because there is nowhere to slide the needle into on the back of the tapestry.)

In my kits I recommend two stitches:

Continental tent stitch

This is the one that is stitched in rows from side to side or up and down.  It is easy to learn and is the one used by most tapestry stitchers.


Basketweave tent stitch

This looks more complicated than it is!  You simply stitch up and down the diagonals, fitting each stitch into the obvious next space.  Once you get started, you will see what I mean.
It is ideal for larger areas and backgrounds, but I use it absolutely everywhere and highly recommend it! (Left handed stitching here)
In my opinion Basketweave is the best because the result is smoother and  it causes far less distortion of the tapestry as you stitch. Some distortion is inevitable but if you use this stitch and a tapestry frame, that distortion will be minimal. 

One Off Needlework kits have plenty of wool for either of these stitches. However, some other designers and kit manufacturers recommend Half Cross stitch so do check the instructions and follow the stitch guidance, otherwise you could possibly run out of wool.