Each line on this chart represents a fabric thread.
To do the Back Stitch bring the working thread up at 1, go down at 2, come up at 3, go down at 4, come up at 5, go down at 6, and so on.
Finished Back Stitch
There are a number of tips for this stitch. You do not want to split or catch any other threads when you do this stitch because that will distort the thread you catch and the Back stitch. Now, what I mean by this is that I keep the loop the thread forms on the backside of the embroidery (or the front) above the line of stitches or on the outside of the design curve. I recently noticed that I actually hold that loop of thread on the back of the embroidery only releasing it once the needle enters the fabric again to finish the stitch. By holding the loop out of the way of the needle the stitch is very straight and aligned with the other stitches. Of course you could just leave the loop on the top of the embroidery, then insert the needle in the fabric and pull out the slack. I also twist the needle to keep the thread plies twisted together. This takes close observation to insure you are not untwisting the thread plies, by keeping them twisted you reduce the wear on the thread. I learned this many decades ago from Elsa Williams, a well known Crewel embroider.
Use short lengths of thread about 12 inches in length. This stitch ruins thread very quickly. You don't want dark red Fuzzies from your back stitch on your white cross stitches, or black shreds in the white eye section of your doll's eye. This happens because the thread start falling apart from rubbing other threads and the fabric threads as you stitch. ©2004 Linda Fontenot, www.AmericanFolkArts.com