Author: napaneedle | Date: June 30, 2010 | No Comments »

When a quilter picks fabric for a quilt, she will look at different parts of a print to select the parts that work best. A well-made striped shirt, or slipcover, is cut so that the pattern matches at the seams.

Choosing the best parts of a tartan so that the pattern will look its best is an important part of making a successful needlepoint.

One aspect of this is centering the plaid. For a really large sett, like Royal Stewart (the biggest I’ve done), placing the interesting part of the pattern in the center prevents you from having a really large red square smack in the middle of the needlepoint with little bits of pattern on the edges.

Another aspect is knowing if the item will be long and skinny, like a belt, or short and fat like a boxtop. This allows you to choose the part of the plaid that will look best for the item and that swill be most interesting for you to stitch.

With the pre-charted tartans, there often are many parts you can choose. I’m happy to help you pick the perfect selection from the larger chart. With custom plaids of all kinds, I will create the plaid precisely to your needs.

Are you making a belt? I’ll pick the best section of the tartan to use on the narrow space.

Is it a birthday plaid going in a checkbook cover? I’ll make the chart so that the repeats work best.

My experience in charting and stitching plaids specifically for needlepoint items can help you make the best use of these charts.

Author: napaneedle | Date: | 2 Comments »

If you spend much time around tartans, as I have, you begin to recognize that the scale of the pattern differs greatly. Some, like Rob Roy, are small, some, like Royal Stewart are quite large.

This can be a real challenge in selecting a tartan to stitch. Since it’s the relative size of the stripes that makes a tartan distinctive, the more stripes there are before a repeat of the pattern, the bigger the scale is. In addition, the width of the narrowest stripe determines the width of all the other stripes. This isn’t an issue in woven plaids because the threads are so narrow in comparison to the cloth itself. But it is important in needlepoint.

texas bluebonnet tartan charted for needlepoint or cross stitch

Using the Texas Blue Bonnet plaid as my example, my narrowest stripe is one thread wide, as is often the case with my charted plaids, the whole sett is 46 threads wide. This is an excellent size for most needlepoint. It works in many mesh sizes, will allow repeats and lets you choose where to center the plaid.

If I made my narrowest stripe two threads instead of one, the sett would be 92 threads wide. That’s over 5 inches on 18 mesh! Fine for a pillow, but not for anything smaller.

Every tartan and plaid I chart is done with the practical aspects of needlepoint in mind. They are selected and charted so that they will work in most needlepoint applications.

If you have a special need that requires a different scale, just ask, I’m happy to help you plan out your project.

Author: napaneedle | Date: June 14, 2010 | No Comments »

Recently I was accused of illegally charting and selling tartans illegally. I want to publicly say that this accusation is completely and totally false.

I did extensive research and even went and asked the folks at the tartan registry about it.

Here’s the full story. When you make a tartan you can take the plaid you have created and have it registered by the Tartan Registry. This is kind of like recording a copyright for a book. The folks at the Registry require information like the sett (weaving pattern), name, and restrictions on use. If it’s sufficiently different from other tartan, it will be registered.

In addition to new tartans, there are hundreds of older tartans that are registered but are old enough to be in the Public Domain, which means anyone can use them freely.

There are also hundreds of modern tartans that are registered but not restricted, so that they can also be used freely by anyone.

Restricted tartans are a very small sub-class of tartans. Usually they are ones created by a company or school that is closely associated with the company. It’s kind of like a logo in how it can be used.

Every tartan that is available on Needlepoint Plaids as well as every tartan I chart as a custom chart is freely available for use or sale.

I just wanted to take a moment to make this clear.

Author: napaneedle | Date: June 9, 2010 | No Comments »

A tartan is defined by the width and sequence of stripes, called the sett. They are defined and registered through a threadcount, which is the formula for weaving the plaid. The fabric you see is the result of applying the formula to weaving.

Threadcounts are never used to create the needlework charts. I look at a good picture of the tartan. These must have colors that are distinct in the picture and be flat.

From this picture I find the narrowest stripe. Looking at the picture I then calculate the widths of the other stripes. Once I have this figured out, I then calculate how wide it is to see if it is suited for counted work and make adjustments.

Once I have a formula, which may take several days to create, I begin to chart the plaid using a needlework charting program. Each direction is charted separately and in color. A third chart of the completed plaid is created, and is checked to see if it looks correct.

Corrections are made if needed and the charts are put into the template for the technique of your choice. Corrections and additions (sometimes quite extensive) are made so that your plaid chart is perfect for your thread choice and stitched object.

Every plaid I chart presents its own challenges. Although this is the process I follow no matter the type of plaid, each one is an original charted adaptation of a plaid.

Author: napaneedle | Date: June 1, 2010 | 2 Comments »


PLAID HAPPENS!


As we learned in the article about tartans, a plaid is just stripe made in two directions. We use this aspect of plaids to stitch them as well.

As long as you know the colors, the stripes’ widths, and the sequence, you can stitch any plaid. They are all stitched exactly the same way.

rob roy, or lumberjck, tartan charted for needlepoint or cross stitch by janet perry

We’ll use the Rob Roy plaid as the example. Begin by stitching the vertical stripes. The picture above shows the chart for this.

Since you stitched every other stitch, the result looks like very odd stripes.

rob roy, or lumberjack, tartan charted for needlepoint or cross stitch by janet perry

rob roy, or lumberjack, tartan c


Once the vertical stripes are complete, fill in the horizontal stripes. As you do what had been stripes, becomes a plaid.

You did it all with a blank canvas, some thread, and either a chart of the plaid or notes about the sequence.

The process is the same in any form of counted work, with any square stitch, and for a plaid of any type. Once you know the numbers, a plaid is one of the easiest patterns to reproduce.

There’s no need to make it complicated.

Author: napaneedle | Date: | No Comments »

duncan tartan charted for needlepoint or cross stitch by janet perry

Duncan Tartan


Tartans, most properly, are symmetrical plaids usually associated with Scotland or Scottish items. In fact, to be a tartan the plaid must be registered in the Official Tartan Registry.

yukon tartan charted for needlepoint or cross stitch by janet perry

Yukon Tartan


There are tartans not only for clans (Scottish families), military units, bands, colleges and universities, companies, clubs, cities, states, and even countries. Most correctly, you wear the plaids associated with you. So if you lived in the Yukon and were Irish, you could wear both the Texas Bluebonnet plaid, and the Irish plaid.

How are tartan plaids constructed? They are made from a particular sequence of stripes of various widths and colors woven in a regular pattern in both directions. This sequence is called a sett. Because the same sequence is used in both directions, the plaid is symmetrical. You can always tell a symmetrical plaid because the blocks of solid color are always square.

I always used to associate tartans with a fairly narrow range of pure colors. While this tends to be true of many tartans, they doe cover a pretty wide range of colors. What distinguishes tartan colors is that they are either fully saturated or muted heather colors; pastels aren’t used in tartans.

There are also specific types of tartans you might see. Ancient tartans often have simpler setts and are in the muted colors associated with natural dyes. In fact, these tartans mostly aren’t ancient at all but Victorian, part of their craze for all things Scottish. Hunting tartans usually have greens, grays and browns predominating in the colors, so they will blend into the landscape. Dress tartans are often more complex or different colored versions worn for special occasions.

rob roy, or lumberjck, tartan charted for needlepoint or cross stitch by janet perry

rob roy, or lumberjck, tartan horizontal stripes

rob roy, or lumberjck, tartan charted for needlepoint or cross stitch by janet perry

vertcal settcharted for needlepoint or cross stitch by janet perry


Let’s analyze the simplest plaid of all, Rob Roy, to see how it’s constructed. Rob Roy is made up of equal stripes in red and black. We’ll make ours 4 threads wide. The left diagram shows the horizontal stripes as they would be stitched. The right diagram shows the vertical stripes.

rob roy, or lumberjack, tartan charted for needlepoint or cross stitch by janet perry

rob roy, or lumberjack, tartan c


Put them together, as in the diagram above and you have the checker of Rob Roy, also sometimes called the Lumberjack plaid.

One last note, if you do research on tartans you may find many different tartans for a single clan. Some are distinguished by geography, for example the Perrys of California might have a different tartan than the Perrys of Virginia. Some are distinguished by purpose, for example the Stewarts have ancient, dress, and royal versions of their familiar tartan. With others I haven’t been able to find a distinguishing characteristic.

In any case, plaids remain a popular type of design appearing on everything from school uniforms to keyrings. They are also incredibly easy to make into needlepoint.

Author: napaneedle | Date: | No Comments »


birthday plaid in cross stitch, stitched by Janet Perry

Cross Stitch Birthday Plaid


Birthday plaids are made so that the vertical and horizontal stripes reflect the name and birthdate of a person. They make unique gifts, especially for a baby. I especially like them as baby presents because they must be finished after the baby is born.

Numbers are stitched with stripes the width of each digit. Letters are converted into numbers. You can pick the colors you like, they are always charming.

My most recent plaid is pictured above, and below, you will see some other examples of birthday plaids.


birthday plaid mini-sock in needlepoint, designed by janet perry

Birthday Plaid mini-sock

sample custom birthday plaid chart, from Janet Perry

Custom Birthday Plaid Chart

Author: napaneedle | Date: | 1 Comment »
sinclair tartan charted for needlepoint belt

Make a needlepoint belt in your family's tartan

There can be a bewildering array of choices for many last names. Be as specific as you can about the plaid you want. I will email you with questions and to confirm your choice of tartan. Your custom tartan will be charted and ready in about two weeks. The cost is for the charting service, and the considerable work involved in this process.

This is a two-step process. First you must specify what you need for the plaid by filling out the form below. Then you must pay for the plaid. No work is undertaken unless both steps are completed. You will be emailed a confirmation with an expected delivery date, along with any questions.

My charts are charted by hand based on tartans, either pictured or in fabric. They are not reproductions of actual tartans, the way a fabric would be, but adaptations of these plaids suited for stitching. (This disclaimer has been added because of untrue implications about my work.)


Name:*
Email:*
Tartan Name:*
Needlepoint or Cross Stitch:* Option1

Option2

Option3
Other Information:*
Thread Choice:*
Verification No.:*
contact form faq verification image

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When you fill out the order form, give as much information as possible. If I have questions, I will email you.







Use this button if you want to order your plaid as a PDF file.







Use this button if you want to order your plaid as a printed file. USPS First Class mail is used in the US. International orders are sent cheapest way. You will be invoiced for additional shipping charges.

Author: napaneedle | Date: | 1 Comment »

sample custom birthday plaid chart, from Janet Perry

Custom Birthday Plaid Chart


Looking for a plaid for a special person or occasion? Why not create a unique stitched plaid, based on any name, word or date.

Just specify what you want for the horizontal and vertical directions, the colors you want and whether you want needlepoint or cross stitch. Your custom plaid will be charted and ready in about two weeks.

This is a two-step process. First you must specify what you need for the plaid by filling out the form below. Then you must pay for the plaid. No work is undertaken unless both steps are completed. You will be emailed a confirmation with an expected delivery date, along with any questions.


Vertcal Stripe:*
Horizontal Stripe:*
Colors (up to five allowed)*
Needlepoint or Cross Stitch:* Option1

Option2

Option3
Email:*
Verification No.:*
contact form faq verification image

Contact form powered by 123ContactForm



When you fill out the order form, give as much information as possible. If I have questions, I will email you.







Use this button if you want to order your plaid as a PDF file.







Use this button if you want to order your plaid as a printed file. USPS First Class mail is used in the US. International orders are sent cheapest way. You will be invoiced for additional shipping charges.

Author: napaneedle | Date: | No Comments »

I offer classes in stitched plaids in three formats.

Birthday Plaid Cyberclass – $20. This class will be offered as an email class in February 2011. The three lesson class covers both needlepoint and cross stitch. It creates a birthday plaid square that can be used for a tote bag or box insert. The class is three lessons long and includes finishing instructions.

Student’s may order tote bags for finishing at the time of registration.

Stitched Plaid Guild Class – $75 Guild chapters, shops, or other groups may hire Janet Perry to do an in-person three to four hour class on either personal plaids or tartans. This engaging half-day program includes designing the plaid, a discussion of color placement, and a project. $75 is the teaching fee. Travel expenses are covered by the sponsoring organization and are negotiated separately.

This class may be done in conjunction with other programs or can be done in more than one location in the area so that travel expenses can be split. Contact me for more details.

Stitched Plaid Guild-led Class – varies This option allows people in the guild chapter, group, or shop lead the plaid project. Materials are [provided to the leader in advance of the program so that problems can be covered and additional teaching material can be provided. A material set must be purchased in advance for each participant. For guilds and other non-profits, a portion of the pruchase price is donated back to the guild.