When it goes right, I do enjoy the look and feel of a tidy back to a project. It took me years to work out that it was due to how and where you started and then continued stitching. Generally starting on the left without a knot and then doing a running line to the right and then back across your work (and then working downwards) usually gives a tidy couched piece of work.
However, that’s not always practical. As a European, I was always taught to start in the middle of a piece, to ensure that you place the item correctly on the fabric. Books and charts all give you this direction. It often means that there are whole swathes where you a”start at the left end” and do a running line to the right. Or you have to go up rather than down.
Since I’ve been looking around on the web, and buying projects from elsewhere, I’ve found that not all people work this way! Many of the Americans for instance start from the top left hand corner and work down. I have several charts that are printed in booklet form that direct you to start on page 1 (naturally) and work down and right for each following page. In a way this does make sense, especially if you want to keep the back of your pattern looking good. I need to try it out a couple of times however to see if I can work this way – after so many years of doing it the European way, it’s going to be challenging to do it any other way!
So do you aim for the back to be as neat as the front? or does this bit not interest you so much?