I have been diligently using my Puncetto Valsesiano book by Angela Stefanutto, Paola Scarrone and Carla Rossetti which I understand has been updated and is ready for reprinting but has been delayed due to permission difficulties with some of the photos.
I now understand that I should have followed the exercises in this book in the order that they were presented because if I'd done that, I would have understood the technique much better than skipping around and working "in the dark" so to say. If you start out and follow the (seemingly) boring first exercises, you actually understand the formula for making Puncetto work properly.
Some things that I have learned are:
- Twist your thread in the direction you are going for each stitch. This helps tremendously and allows for longer threads lengths for things such as the selvedges where you don't want to have any thread joins. I found that I was spending more time undoing knots than doing stitches until I starting doing this for every stitch.
- No matter how tempted you are to not start a new thread, do it when you need to and plan where to do it. While blocks of solid stitching may seem to be the easiest place to change threads, they are actually the most visible place - you can always see the bulk of the secured ends. I have found that changing threads on the return trip over some empty holes is the least noticible place to do it.
|Visible joining of threads.|
|Less visible joining of threads.|
- Make an effort to do very tight stitches in the first couple of rows because inevitably, they end up being the loosest stitches and once you get to the top you'll notice!
- On your return trip over empty holes, look ahead to see what will be stitched in the next row. If you have other filled holes above, then do less return stitches so that you obtain the correct amount of stitches across, I'll show you what I mean:
|In this case, I did two instead of three knots to accommodate the filled hole above. Note that this number of stitches applies to small holes and that the number differs for different sized holes.|
- For even tension, when completing the stitch pull the thread up and then down in one fluid motion, this moves the knot to the lower part of the stitch and helps make all the stitches the same size and tension.
- If you are finding that you can't seem to ever get your selvedges (top and bottom) to be the same width as the rest of your work, use a needle one size smaller when you are stitching the selvedges and switch to the bigger needle when completing the work between the selvedges. This last tip comes from Stefania of L'angolo di Stefania who patiently let me sit at her house and mangle many attempts at Puncetto.