The jargon of different crafts is always really interesting to me. Some terms are universal (like WIP for work in progress, or UFO for unfinished object), while others are specific to the craft being done.
I recently learned about a couple of different cross stitch terms I hadn’t heard of before: parking and cross country stitching.
These are funny names for methods of stitching large projects with lots of different colors. Peacock and Fig has more in-depth posts about both parking and cross country stitching, but I’ll give you the short version:
- Parking is a method where you stitch the color you’re using, then find where you need it next in your design and bring the needle up where you would start that stitch. Then you “park” that thread there until you come to that place, and continue to work row by row across the work.
- Cross country stitching involves working all of the stitches of one color throughout the project before moving on to the next color.
Any big projects I have done, I’ve used the cross country method. I’m not the best at counting, though, so I tend to have projects that are a few stitches off from what the designer intended when I work this way, but it’s not usually noticeable.
There are pros and cons to both methods. Since you’re carrying threads across the back in the parking method, it will make your back messier looking, but since you’re working stitch by stitch and row by row you’ll probably make fewer mistakes. With cross country you can still have long threads on the back if you have a big jump from one section of color to another, and, as I mentioned, it can be harder to keep track of where you are in a pattern.
And of course you can use a combination of methods depending on the project and how many colors are involved.
Had you heard these terms before? Are you a parker or a cross country stitcher? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
[Photo: Peacock and Fig.]
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