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Parking Method




How to Organize Cross Stitch and Needlework Fabric; The Parking Method in Counted Cross Stitch

Sunrays Creations Needlearts is abound with beautiful counted cross stitch patterns!  With over 1,000 patterns, we try to cover all bases with cross stitch themes from A to Z.  Our patterns range from beginner stitching (If you just starting here is an awesome book to get you started) to stitching reserved for experts, but we pride ourselves in creating patterns that use full cross stitch instead of half stitches or quarter stitches.  Our patterns are very colorful using an array of solid colors to capture every nuance and essence of shade and tone.  DMC floss is the floss of choice that we use in all of our patterns. 

In our NIP (“Needlework in Progress) section, customers are invited to purchase our patterns and send in digital photos so we can document each customer’s progress. 

Here is a link I like to call, “Great Movies that Show Women Stitching.”  In that list you will find movies that depict women stitching in them, and they are also great movies to stitch by.  

As promised, here are the instructions on the new and exciting technique called “The Parking Method.”  It is optional.  You don’t have to use this method; however, it is what I use, and I have included it in case you want to use it.  

The Parking Method Defined:  The “Parking Method” in counted cross stitch is really quite simple.  Once you learn it, you will never forget it.  The Parking Method is simply a method that is used in situations where you have many color changes.  

The Procedure:  Basically, this parking method has been simplified in order to avoid creating lines in your finished pattern.  You basically start with the first stitch in the first two grid blocks and stitch in that row wherever you see that symbol.  If that symbol is carried over into an adjacent block, go where the color takes you and stitch across grid blocks and park when you’re ready to start a different color which would be in Row 1.  Repeat the previous instructions in the remaining rows until all of the symbols in the two 10 x 10 grids have been stitched.  This method I just described has been modified because it was noted that if you stitch one 10 x 10 square at a time, you will end up with lines showing through creating the dreaded checkerboard effect. 

After continuous working of this method, you will find continuous interweaving of the threads and this may become a little bulky.  There is nothing wrong with that, and it will be just fine when everything is finished and you are ready to block the fabric.  Using the Parking Method makes it easy to keep on track with your counting and makes it less likely that you will miss a stitch.  Make sure you highlight the finished rows of stitches you have completed on your pattern.  

Important Tip:  You can avoid thread tangling if you keep the threads straight on the canvas and do not allow them to bunch together.  

Benefits:  If you mark your patterns with highlighters like I do, you will find that you’ll only need to use one color of highlighter to mark the finished 10 x 10 blocks as you finish them as there is no longer any need to color in miniscule spaces on your pattern for each stitch using a variety of different colored markers.  This, in itself, saves time, energy, and the cost of having to purchase more and more markers to represent every color change.   

Here are 3 great videos I found that further demonstrates "The Parking Method".  I do not claim to know everything there is to know about this method and love input from all sources.

Whether you are just learning to cross stitch or are considered intermediate or an expert stitcher; I am recommending that you purchase an indispensable tool called, Cross Stitch Made Easy.  The book covers all the information you need to get started including firstly identifying the basic equipment, accessories you'll need to create a finished project ready to hang on your wall.  The book will teach you how to avoid costly mistakes made by those just starting out, help you save time and money on equipment, and a host of other good advice including five basic cross stitches.  Click Here to order Cross Stitch Made Easy.