Frog Stitch or Ripping Out Needlepoint
An aspect of how to do needlepoint which we all encounter is having to rip out your stitches. Sometimes this is called frog stitch or even frogging. You may have seen frog stitching referred to or talked about. If you went to your stitch guides looking for instruction on how to do it. — you most likely came up with nothing.
That’s because frog stitching is another term for unstitching or ripping out your canvas (rip-it — get it?).
Every stitcher has to rip out stitches once in awhile. The thread color may clash with the others in the piece. The stitch may slant the wrong way (I do this all the time). The stitches may be done incorrectly. Anyhow, you need to take out what you’ve stitched and restitch it. Here are some tips on frog stitching correctly.
You probably cannot reuse thread which has already been stitched. It always loses its texture on way or another. This is particularly noticeable with pearl cottons, rayons, and other shiny threads.
If you only have a few stitches wrong, you may be able to literally “unstitch” the area. To do this just reverse your stitching working backwards from the end. This does not work well on large areas, on areas that have stitching around them, where you have stitched through the thread, or where your tension is tight.
In these cases you will need to rip out the stitching. I do this slowly, so I will not cut the canvas.
Use either a pair of cuticle scissors or a special pair of scissors with a notch in one of the blade to lift up the stitch. Working from the side with the looser tension (usually the back), cut several stitches. The using tweezers or my fingers, pull out the cut threads and throw them out. Then I repeat this process until the entire area has been ripped out.
I only do a little bit at a time, cutting some threads, pulling them out, and then cutting again.
It may seem like a simple thing, but doing frog stitch correctly is an important aspect of how to do needlepoint.