Beginners’ Guide How to... Stitching’s a breeze! Let Technical Editor Fiona show you how it’s done in this reference guide Beginner? Follow Fiona’s guide to instant stitching success! CHOOSE YOUR ESSENTIALS… Start with these must-have items . FABRICS Begin with either aida or evenweave. is best for beginners, with regular woven blocks and obvious holes. It’s stiffer than evenweave, but will soften slightly as you work. The most common fabric is 14-count aida. It’s harder to work fractional stitches on aida, as you’ll need to make an extra hole in the fabric, in the centre of the aida block. is a lovely fabric to work on when you have a little more experience. The fibres aren’t woven in blocks as with aida, so it’s softer and the fine weave has more threads-per-inch – the most commonly used is 28-count. One stitch is usually worked over two threads of the fabric so it has an equivalent design size of 14-count aida. Cross stitching fractional stitches is easier on evenweave, as there’s a central hole spare so you don’t need to split a block as you do for aida. Aida Evenweave START CROSS STITCHING… Make sure you hit the mark the first time every time with our top tips! Using the Factbox guide in every one of our projects, you can make sure you choose the right level for you. Absolute beginners should aim for a design without fractional stitches. Choose your project… to stitch with, and are colourfast to 95°C. Cheaper brands are available, but they’re less durable and may not be colourfast. . NEEDLES Use our Shopping List for each project, which specifies everything needed, like size of fabric and finishing materials. Using another fabric with different HPI (holes per inch), will give a different finished size of design. Calculate your fabric requirements like this: Stitch count divided by HPI of ‘new’ fabric choice = new size in inches. Add at least 10cm (4in) on each dimension to allow for mounting, or less for cards. Buy your materials… To cross stitch, use a which has a blunt tip and larger eye than a regular sewing needle. It easily passes through the fibres of aida and evenweave. Different needle sizes are available, with varying lengths and widths, so choose the best for your fabric – see our handy guide. Other needles are useful too… try a fine beading needle for adding bead accents. You may also prefer a sharp-tipped embroidery (or crewel) needle to split aida blocks when stitching fractional stitches. tapestry needle, Aida (left) with obvious holes is better for beginners. Evenweave (right) has a finer weave. Fabric choices: We always recommend starting in the centre of a design and working outwards. Our charts are marked with two centre arrows so find a symbol close to the centre and begin there. Get ready… Tapestry needle Aida Evenweave 6-count 8-count Find the corresponding centre of your fabric by folding in half and half again. The point where the folds cross corresponds to the centre so this is where your central stitch should go. Get set… . THREADS 22, 25 & 27-count 11-count You’ll need – this coloured thread comes in 8m skeins and is made up of six strands. The count of your fabric will determine the number of strands you use in your needle. Typically for 14-count aida you’ll use two strands for cross stitch and just one strand for backstitch. This is indicated in the key or instructions for your project. There are three main brands – DMC, Anchor and Madeira – which are all smooth and easy stranded cotton 28-count 14-count 32-count* 16-count 36 & 55-count 18-count Begin your stitches in two strands of thread. Use a loop start, as it’s the neatest way to get going. It uses one double-length (80cm) strand with both ends threaded together. See our diagrams for how to stitch. Finish threads by weaving the leftover ‘tail’ under a few stitches at the back. Get stitching… 18 20 22 24 26 28 *Also includes 22-count Hardanger www.gathered.how/woxs The World of Cross Stitching 88
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