Needlepoint: Basketweave Stitch | Purl Soho

Needlepoint is a form of counted thread embroidery in which yarn is stitched through a stiff open weave canvas. Below you will find a quick tutorial on the Basketweave Stitch, one of the most common and durible stitches in the needlepoint tradition. For more in-depth instructions on how to needlepoint we highly recommend the TNNA How To Needlepoint Booklet.

Pictured above is one of the many beautiful Charley Harper canvases we carry. Once you’ve finished your canvas, check out Molly’s project journal for how to Finish a Needlepoint Pillow.

Anchor the Thread

To start, bring your threaded needle through the canvas from back to front, leaving a short tail in the back of the fabric. You will work the first several stitches over the tail to secure your floss.

Work Across the Canvas

 You will work in rows that extend diagonally down the canvas. As stated above, bring your threaded needle through the canvas from back to front. To start, come through to the front at 1 and through to the back at 2.

For your second stitch, come to the front at 3 and to the back at 4. Continue in this fashion. After going to the back at 6, you will come to the front at 7 on the next row down. Continue working as indicated in the diagram above.

Needlepoint: Basketweave Stitch | Purl Soho

When you come to the end of your stitches (or your thread) weave in your tail on the back side of your work by neatly slipping it under a few strands of thread, either vertically or horizontally, so not to create a ridge on the right side of the canvas.

If you turn your canvas over to look at the wrong side, you will see where the name Basketweave comes from. It is the back of the canvas that shows off the structure of the stitch; it looks like a woven basket.