The Last Stitch

Pattern Guide: Lines

Straight lines, along with curves, form the basis of every shape used in a pattern. A line can cover as few as two adjacent squares, arranged either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Since canvas is almost exclusively a rectangular grid, horizontal and vertical lines are very easy to plot on a pattern. Diagonal lines can also be plotted predictably, by repeating the same pattern of same-length horizontal or vertical segments. The slope of the line (amount of slant relative to horizontal or vertical) depends on how long each of those little line segments is relative to the entire length of the line (see diagram).


Text-Charted Line Color-Charted Line

Lines of Different Slopes (Text) Lines of Different Slopes (Color)

Depending on the stitch used, a line may or may not appear smooth and continuous when stitched. Square stitches, like cross stitch, can give smooth straight lines in any direction equally well, while uni-directional stitches, like tent stitch, look better when arranged in the direction of the stitch itself. In the example below, done in cross-stitch, the vertical lines in the bottom-right corner are very well-defined.


Straight and Curved Lines in cross-stitch

Previous: Points Next: Squares & Rectangles

Go to Top of Page Return to Main Go to Site Index