Getting Started with Cross Stitching

Having cross stitched since I was a teenager, I find this craft one of the easier choices to get along with. However, I tend to make lots of potential crafters laugh when they ask me for my advice on whether cross stitching is an easy choice. My answer: If you can sew a cross, then you can most certainly cross stitch!

Cross stitching is the art of making an X shape on a piece of material. Okay – there is a little bit more to it, but in general if you can do this one simple thing, the rest of the premise is simple. A pattern will usually consist of hundreds of crosses, all marked out in shape form to encourage you to stitch a pattern where the crosses have been sewn to such a good standard that, from a distance, you would never know they were crossed stitches!

The Basics of Cross Stitching

To begin cross stitching, you ideally need just a few simple items to start:

A needle: The right size to fit your intended material.

A Selection of Embroidery Threads: The amount of threads that you need will depend on how many colours are in your pattern. However, it is worth noting that for most patterns there will be an instruction of how many strands are needed for each one – this tends to be around 2-3 strands in general. Therefore, you will find that your embroidery thread lasts quite some time.

A Piece of Aida: Aida is usually the material/fabric that you need for cross stitching. It’s different to other fabrics due to its count of holes across it, which enable you to apply the specific number of crosses as per your pattern tells you to. Available in a range of sizes both big and small, it is a more tougher type of material which copes by holding the stitches in place better as you work on it.

An Embroidery Hoop: Though not essential, this will hold your aida in place and make it so much easier to sew with. Just remember to take the material out of the hoop after every session to encourage it to return to its normal shape.

A Pattern: These are usually so easy to come by, especially if you can search for patterns online. Most patterns are straight forward to follow, and will give you aida and strand count information. You can also, in time when you feel confident, create your own cross stitch patterns!

Have a go, practice those crosses – and I can guarantee you will be hooked in no time!

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