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Needlepoint is stitched with tapestry wool on a mesh canvas. The needlepoint canvas may either be painted with a pre-printed design or blank. With a painted canvas, you follow the colors printed on the canvas to stitch the design. With a blank canvas, you follow a pattern using a gridded chart and count threads to find where to stitch. Some stitchers prefer one style over another, so make sure to check the product description to see whether a pre-printed or blank needlepoint canvas is used.
Most needlepoint projects are sold as kits, which will contain the canvas, yarn, and instructions you need to complete your project. This makes it easier to complete the project, especially for beginning stitchers, as you are guaranteed to have the right materials and enough tapestry wool in each color to complete the design.