/ / / Parking versus cross-country stitching
Parking versus cross-country stitching

Parking versus cross-country stitching

with 6 Comments

A few months ago I wrote a couple of blog articles about the techniques of parking and cross-country stitching. These articles generated a bit of feedback in some of the cross stitch groups I belong to online, so I thought I’d make a video and do a bit of a “show and tell” about the two techniques.

 

Of course, there are pros and cons to both. For parking, it’s easier to follow your pattern as you are usually just going straight across one row and changing out colours as needed, so it’s usually pretty easy to see exactly where you are in a pattern. On the downside, you have a lot of needles and threads hanging down, which looks messy and can be confusing. It can also take longer to stitch as you’re always referring to the pattern, picking up a needle, stitching a few stitches, switching out threads and needles, etc. I found too that since you usually use shorter lengths of floss so they don’t tangle together, you feel like you’re constantly replacing a thread every few stitches.

 

For cross-country stitching, one of the advantages is that you can stitch for quite a while on one thread as usually your threads are longer, and you won’t get any potential banding in solid areas of colour (like I explain in the video). You’re also not limited to sticking to the one row of stitching, you can travel across the piece as dictated by your pattern (thus the name “cross-country” stitching). On the other hand, you need to have some system to make sure you’re stitching in the right spot as you do tend to stitch in the middle of “nowhere” for the first few colours – if you screw up the placement then everything that’s around that area will be affected. You can grid your fabric, use highlighters on paper patterns or use highlighting in pdf readers if using digital patterns to keep track of where you are.

 

In the video I explain both techniques, and although I mainly do cross-country stitching, you’ll see I do integrate a bit of parking as well (by doing large sections of one colour then I put my floss into a stitch nearby to start the next section). I show a few samples of both techniques, and you can see how they are working out in my current piece (my big Michelangelo piece). If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to ask below. And be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you enjoy the videos!

 

free cross stitch patterns

Summary
Parking versus cross-country stitching
Article Name
Parking versus cross-country stitching
Description
Learn the differences between the parking method and cross-country stitching techniques in cross stitch... what type of stitcher are you?
Author
Publisher Name
Peacock & Fig
Publisher Logo

Follow Dana Batho:

Artist and Designer

I am an artist, veteran, analyst, and mommy to the sweetest dog ever. I am constantly thinking of ways to use my creativity in everything I touch despite my physical limitations, and I love encouraging others to do the same.

6 Responses

  1. Laura Livenspire
    | Reply

    I had been interested in the parking method, but your comments about the dangly threads and near-match colours has convinced me that (for me) that way lies madness. I do like the orderly progression across the pattern, which is what interested me about the parking method. I realized I have done modified cross-country for years. Having a fondness for complex designs, I learned pretty quickly that if I strayed too far into “open country” I made awful mistakes, so when starting a new 10×10 block, I start with the most frequent colour in that block, and then keep going until I’ve finished the particular shape I’ve started, even if it travels out of my block, and then I pick the next colour from the initial block. I don’t get bored with colour, and I don’t get lost (often). Thank you for your blog and videos – it’s nice to have a coach when I need it!

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Haha yes that’s how I generally work when I’m doing a really large full coverage piece, but most of my designs these days are a little smaller so I’m happy just trucking around most of the pattern doing one colour before moving onto the next. As long as you’re happy doing what you’re doing, that’s all that matters. 🙂

  2. Lesley
    | Reply

    Great video and explanation. I was thinking about trying parking but think I’ll stick to cross country!

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Haha you’re welcome Lesley! Some people love parking, but it makes me bananas, so I stick with cross country as well. 🙂

  3. Junette
    | Reply

    I really enjoyed the video. It answered several questions I had about both methods. It was easy to understand and the video was very good. Thank ou Dana

    • Dana Batho
      | Reply

      Thanks very much for your feedback Junette, I’m glad it was helpful for you! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Want exclusive free cross stitch patterns and much more?