For 40 years the American Needlepoint Guild (ANG) has been educating its members about needlepoint, now ANG would like to educate others as well.
ANG’s celebration of needlepoint and samplers is a three- year event, coinciding with the annual Seminars in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Coast to coast for the
coming three years, you are invited to join“A JOURNEY WITH NEEDLEART – From the Past to the Future.”

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Novelty Threads by Kathy Holman

Today, we are delighted to have our first guest contributor, Kathy Holman. Kathy, as many of you know, is an accomplished needlework designer and teacher. Kathy is sharing some of her thoughts about threads, ground fabric, and stitches.

Want to stitch with a novelty thread?

There are many times when one has found a particular thread that is the perfect color and/or texture for an element in a design, but it seems to be the wrong size, or it is a knitting yarn that has no reference for needlepoint. There are some standards that can be applied to tell how to use the wonderful thread. The standards that are generally used and readily available are:

Pearl cotton #3

Pearl cotton #5

Pearl cotton #8 and #12

Six strand embroidery cotton (commonly referred to as floss)

We usually have canvas sizes of 14 threads per inch, 18 threads per inch, 24 threads per inch (congress cloth), and then there are evenweave linens and other fabrics for counted thread work, as well as 30 and 40 count silk gauze.

Pearl cotton #3 will tent stitch on 14 count canvas.

Pearl cotton #5 will tent stitch on 18 count canvas.

Pearl cotton #8 and #12 will tent stitch on 24 count canvas.

Looking at new threads, one can compare them to these standards to find out where to start. Let’s say that the project you are working on is on 18 count canvas, and the wonderful thread is the size of pearl #3. We now have these relationships to consider:

If a thread will tent stitch on 14 count, it will do an upright stitch on 18 count.

If a thread will tent stitch on 18 count, it will do an upright stitch on 24 count.

If a thread will tent stitch on 24 count, it will also tent stitch on 30 count, or work upright on 40 count.

To be continued..........


  1. Happy to have found this blog. But the type is extremely had to read. And I'm a person who normally doesn't have eye issues.

  2. Great information to keep on hand. It opens up options, which is always a good thing. Most of us do trial and error, and small swatch areas don't always tell the overall truth. Thank you for sharing.