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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.” 

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 and is performed row by row. 

The Procedure:  Row 1:  I usually make my parking method area no larger than two 10 x 10 squares that are adjacent to each other on my pattern.  I simply start with the first symbol in the first of the 10 x 10 blocks and work in each hole containing that symbol in both blocks forming a complete cross stitch.  At the end of the first row, I look ahead from my pattern and find where that symbol appears again in row 2 and park the needle bringing the needle up through the fabric and parking it where the stitch for that symbol appears.  I then bring the needle down and rest it in an in and out position further down the canvas so the needle does not dangle and fall out. 

Important Tip:  Note:  It is good to use multiple needles so you won’t have to keep threading needles repeatedly every time you change floss colors. 

Next, look for the next symbol in row 1, and continue instructions as you did for the first symbol working in row one until finished, then looking at row 2, park the next thread in the hole where that symbol appears.  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 forget or miss a stitch.  When you are done with the two 10 x 10 squares, highlight the two 10 x 10 blocks and go down to the next two 10 x 10 blocks repeating the whole process. 

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 are a stitcher like myself and you mark your patterns with highlighters, 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.  With the Parking Method, you no longer will 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 2 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.