A typical Florentine or Bargello needlepoint stitch is vertical and made by working up or down over a specific number of canvas threads. To create variation and movement in a Bargello pattern, two or more of these stitches are either placed side by side or worked by “stepping” across the canvas row by row until the desired design takes shape.
Reading the Step In Bargello Needlepoint
Most Bargello charts indicate the “step” by using two numbers. The first number represents the length of the stitch or the number of canvas threads over which it is to be worked. The second number is the spacing between one stitch and the next. For example, a 4-2 step means the stitch is made by working over four canvas threads and skipping two canvas threads above or below the completed stitch before working the next stitch in the sequence.
More intricate and creative projects are made by varying the “step” and repeating a pattern of single, and then two or more stitches side by side for a smooth or sharp effect.