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[Typical Courses] How to park threads

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Post time: 2013-4-10 21:51
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Edited by IamJamie at 2013-4-10 21:57

Someone asked about how to park and I was surprised that there wasn't already a tutorial here. I just copied and pasted this from another site but it seems like it's well explained with nice color pictures. For anyone who doesn't already know this method, don't worry it is much easier than it seems. Hope this helps some of you!

Tutorial: Parking
Parking is a stitching technique which makes your stitching neater by not leaving "holes" between rows as you stitch, and faster because you don't anchor floss and thread a new needle as you change colors. A "hole" is a spot not stitched (yet), wholly or partially surrounded by completed stitches. Going back and inserting the stitch into a hole is more difficult than if the adjacent stitches were not already in place. (You can avoid leaving holes without parking, but then you have to anchor colors each time you finish a contiguous section, which can make the back messier in areas with a lot of color changes.) Here's how to do it.

1. Let's work through this very simple chart. It only uses 3 colors, and has 15 stitches.




2. Most people stitch left to right and top to bottom, so start stitching the A's, which are red. After the first row of A's, the next A is in row 3. If you make that stitch now, it will be harder to insert the first stitch in the second row neatly, so park the red floss. Come up at the beginning of the A stitch (as if you were going to make the stitch now) but then just leave the floss and needle hanging on the front of the fabric. (We are assuming that you cross by coming up at the lower left, down at the upper right, then up at the lower right and down at the upper left.) Don't worry, the needle won't fall off.




3. The next symbol in the chart is B, which is blue. Start stitching the B's (it's OK to leave gaps between stitches in the same row -- see * at the end). Do all the B's in row 2, but then notice that while stitching the first B in row 3 will not leave a hole, stitching the second one will. You could make that first stitch and then park the blue floss, but for this example we'll park it now and wait to do both the remaining blue stitches together. So come up at the beginning of the next blue stitch and leave the floss and needle hanging.



4. The next symbol in the chart (you're working on finishing row 2) is C, which is yellow. You can complete all the yellow stitches without leaving holes, so do that. This is the end of C for this little chart, so anchor the floss in back and snip off the remnant.



5. Now we are ready to continue with the first parked color. In a more complicated chart, you might not know what the symbol for this color is, so refer back to the chart. You've been highlighting completed stitches (haven't you?), so it's easy to compare the chart to the stitching. The parked thread is for the first stitch in row 3 and that's A.



6. This is the last A in the chart, so after you make the stitch you'll anchor the floss and cut off the remainder, and your work looks like this. Refer back to the chart to determine the symbol for that other parked color (stitch 3 in row 3) and it's a B, and so is the stitch next to it. Complete those stitches, and that's the end of this chart.


In a more involved chart, when you came to a parked color, you would probably make one to several stitches with that color, then park it again farther along, leapfrogging down the chart. The floss you carry along the back should be at least partially covered by the intervening stitches, so you may be willing to skip farther than you might usually do. 

You'll obviously need a needle for each color you are going to park. Some people limit parking to background areas, where there are only 3-5 colors mixed together. Other people have no trouble managing 100 parked colors.

* The reason that horizontal gaps are OK while vertical ones are not is this. When you fill in a gap between 2 stitches in the same row, you are bringing your thread up through holes that only have one stitch in them so far. If you leave a hole surrounded by other stitches, when you fill it in, you have to get your needle past up to 3 other stitches without piercing the existing floss, which is much harder to do.




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Number of participants 7Gold Coin +49 Collapse Reason
NoraBL + 3 Thank you very much!
minahadji + 2 Thank you very much!
fhjt48 + 30 Thank you very much!
seb0357 + 3 Interesting
Mary.Jane + 1 Very clear explanation - thanks :)
dove + 9 Usefull
bduport + 1 Very useful. Thanks!!!!

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Post time: 2019-1-18 16:02
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Thanks for the tutorial. It's very good. Although I've never been able to park. I do one colour at a time & thread through the back of existing stitiches. When you're doing something complicated like a TW piece, with a million blends that all look the same, there's no way my poor brain can handle parking as well!
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Post time: 2018-2-11 05:46
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I have found using small craft pegs with the stitch symbol attached used with parked threads really helpful.  Especially on HAED's it is much faster for me to find my threads without have to be too accurate with parking in exact spots.  Takes a little time to set up but worth it IMO.
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Post time: 2016-2-24 05:17
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I've never heard of this before, but am eager to try it.  I'm assuming that it keeps the back looking even better too.  Thank you for sharing such a wonderful idea!
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Post time: 2016-3-17 05:21
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I have always found that parking is a very difficult technique. I tried it once and it didn't work for me. I am a cross country stitcher )
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Post time: 2017-9-7 14:33
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Dit moet ik echt een keer in alle rust proberen. Weet niet of het lukt maar in ieder geval m
bedankt voor het delen van dit systeem
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Post time: 2016-9-17 16:53
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I only recently learned about parking, and after watching videos and seeing pictures, I feel like its very intimidating to me
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Post time: 2017-3-28 02:28
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This is the exact way I park my threads! I never leave holes above the stitches either, I found it harder to make the stitch flat.
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Post time: 2019-2-12 03:47
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Thank you for sharing. I also do that on my projects but finding it hard whenever there is more parked threads already.
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Post time: 2018-2-8 18:29
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Thank you for sharing. I also do that on my projects but finding it hard whenever there is more parked threads already.
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Post time: 2016-11-19 02:16
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Thank you for this tutorial. I am wanting to start my first HAED but I am a bit intimidated, this will help me a lot.
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Post time: 2013-4-11 16:08
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Edited by bduport at 2013-4-11 16:09

Hi there,
thanks a lot for this very clear explanation on how to properly park threads.
I confess I do it in a far more "messy" way.  But from now on I'll try to diligently follow your instructions.
Regards,
B.
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Post time: 2013-4-13 03:09
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thanks nice clear tutorial
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Post time: 2013-4-13 15:35
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This is the method I use as well, except I don't always work in a 10x10 grid. I just start a color at the top and keep stitching in one area as long as I have stitches above where I am working. This way I am starting and stopping fewer threads since I don't have to worry about a color that goes in a horizontal line across several columns.
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Post time: 2013-4-14 12:25
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I use parking on my bigger projects, but I move a bit outside the 10 x 10 grid.  I find it is quicker if I start with the most used color first, then go in order down to the least used color.  
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Post time: 2013-4-14 13:02
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I don't like parking threads in embroidery.  Guess it's just having too many loose ends.  Kind of funny because I'm always parking oodles of threads in my needlepoint.  Maybe it's because the needlepoint is usually "nailed" to a frame and I use lots of magnets to keep the threads from getting knotted up.
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Post time: 2013-4-14 21:37
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I have parked threads before but it became a bit messy Now I try not to do it
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Post time: 2013-4-24 22:25
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I have nevr heard of this term and have never done it. Very interesting
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Post time: 2013-5-30 03:38
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thanks.
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Post time: 2013-5-31 05:35
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I think it would be nice to the tutorial writer if you included the URL of the website where you copied and pasted that from....

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I think she got it from here www . scarletquince . com / parking . php Just take out the spaces.  Details Reply Post time 2015-6-20 15:44
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