How to form basic stitches
Needlepoint stitches are formed on a gridlike, open-weave canvas that has precisely spaced holes between the threads. The basic types of canvas are single mesh (mono) and double mesh (penelope); the latter can be worked with stitches of different sizes. Needlepoint stitches are formed either parallel to the lengthwise threads or diagonally across their intersections. Some stitches span only one mesh; others span two or more. Stitch size depends on tile gauge (meshes per inch) of the canvas.
To secure the yarn end at the beginning of your work, leave 1 inch of yarn at the back of tile canvas and work the first stitches over it. When ending a yarn, weave it through the back of the last few stitches and cut it short.
The needlepoint stitch used most often is the tent stitch. It passes over just one mesh and can be done in three ways: as the half-cross, the continental, or the basket weave.
Make the half-cross stitch on double-mesh canvas, working each row from left to right. At the end of a row, turn the canvas completely around; form the new row next to the first. Work the continental stitch from right to left, turning the canvas with each new row. Begin the basket weave stitch near the upper right; work in rows alternately down, then up, the canvas.
A basic straight-stitch is the Gobelin. It’s worked alternately from right to left and left to right. The yarn can pass over from two to five crosswise threads.