Plastic Canvas Tips & Hints

Yarn Yards to Ounces Conversion Table

Yards Ounces
1 1/2
2 1/2
3 1/2
4 1/2
5 1/2
6 1/2
NOTE: Worsted-weight yarn is about 50 yards per ounce and nylon plastic canvas yarn is about 42 yards per ounce.

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Needloft Discontinued Yarn Colors and Substitutions

04 Violet
06 Rose
08 Baby Pink
10 Sundown
18 Tan
19 Straw
21 Baby Yellow
22 Lime
24 Mint
26 Baby Green
30 Avocado
31 Navy
33 Denim
34 Cerulean
42 Crimson
47 Peach
49 Aqua Light
50 Teal
51 Aqua
59 Plum
65 Pewter
66 Coral
03 Burgundy
05 Lavender
56 Flesh Tone
09 Rust
40 Beige
57 Yellow
20 Lemon
61 Bright Green
23 Fern
25 Moss
29 Forest
48 Royal Dark
32 Royal
35 Sail Blue
03 Lavender
11 Tangerine
36 Baby Blue
54 Turquoise
54 Turquoise
45 Lilac
38 Gray
11 Tangerine

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Marking and Cutting Canvas

Experiment to find which marking and cutting tools you prefer. Crayon, grease pencil or washable marker work well for marking. Scissors, kitchen shears or craft cutters are good for cutting long, straight lines and most diagonal shaping. Small scissors or nail clippers are good for inside cutouts or small items.

Cut your project piece out to look just like the graph, or count holes as specified in cutting instructions. Some patterns feature square or rectangle-shaped pieces which may not have graphs. When you finish cutting, trim nubs smoothly close to the bar and trim all corners diagonally.

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Starting to stitch

Thread your needle with about 18" [45.7 cm] of yarn. Do not tie a knot in the end. Bring your needle up through canvas from the back, leaving a short length of yarn on back side of canvas. As you begin to stitch, work over this piece of yarn. If you are beginning with continental stitches, leave a 1" [2.5 cm] length on back of canvas, but if you are working longer stitches, leave a longer length.

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Stitching your project

As you stitch, try to maintain an even tension on the yarn. Loose stitches will look uneven, and tight stitches will let canvas show through. If your yarn twists as you work, you may want to let your needle and yarn hang and untwist occasionally. Do not carry yarn across the back from one section of a color to the next. Carrying yarn across the back can cause the piece to bow or colors to show through to the front. When you end a section of stitching or finish a thread, weave the yarn through the back side of your last few stitches, then trim it off. Work embroidery stitches over needlepoint stitches after canvas piece if filled in.

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Selecting Supplies

There are several types of plastic canvas. Some are soft and supple, while some are stiffer and more rigid. For projects that require a great deal of shaping, select soft, pliable canvas. Most projects can be stitched on regular plastic canvas. For some boxes and other projects that stand alone, you may want to try stiffer plastic canvas. Or, you may stitch through two thicknesses of canvas.

For 7-mesh canvas, use a No. 16 blunt tapestry needle and worsted-weight or plastic canvas yarn. Use a doubled strand for stitching on 5-mesh canvas. For 10-mesh canvas, use a No. 18 blunt tapestry needle and sport-weight yarn, embroidery floss, #3 pearl cotton or similar yarn. For 14-mesh canvas, use a No, 24 blunt tapestry needle and #5 pearl cotton.

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Explanation of stitch usage

Background Stitches

The following stitches are used for filling in large areas of canvas. The Continental Stitch is the most commonly used stitch. Other stitches, such as the Condensed Mosaic and Scotch Stitch, fill in large areas of canvas more quickly than the Continental Stitch because their stitches cover a larger area of canvas.

  • Condensed Mosaic
  • Continental Stitch
  • Cross-Stitch
  • Long Stitch
  • Reverse Continental
  • Running Stitch
  • Scotch Stitch
  • Slanted Gobelin

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Specialty Stitches

The following stitches can be worked either on top of a previously stitched area or directly onto the canvas. Like the embroidery stitches, these too add wonderful detail and give your stitching additional interest and texture.

  • Smyrna Cross
  • Smyrna Diamond

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Finishing Stitches

  • Lark's Head Knot
  • Overcast
  • Whipstitch

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Embroidery Stitches

These stitches are worked on top of a stitched area to add detail to the project. Embroidery stitches are usually worked with one strand of yarn, several strands of pearl cotton or several strands of embroidery floss.

  • Backstitch
  • Fly Stitch
  • French Knot
  • Lazy Daisy
  • Modified Turkey Work
  • Straight Stitch

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