Beginners’ Guide How to stitch FRACTIONAL STITCHES Tackle the basic stitches in our charts… Fractionals let you create rounded edges Loop start Cross stitch With both ends of a strand threaded, bring your needle up (1), leaving a loop at the back. Work the first arm of your stitch (2) & secure it by passing your needle through the loop. Bring your needle up at the bottom left corner (1) & down in the top right (2) for the first ‘arm’ of your stitch. Work the second arm, coming up in the bottom right (3) & going down in the top left (4). Quarter The chart shows which corner has the fractional. Bring the needle up in that corner and down in the centre of the square, halfway across the diagonal (diagram 1). 2 W 1 4 2 1 3 Backstitch French knots Add detail and definition. Bring your needle up at (1) & down at (2), come up again at (3), then back down at (1) & so on, to direct each stitch ‘back’ towards the line of the growing backstitch. Easy with practice – come up in the fabric (1), keep the thread taut & wrap twice around the needle. Push the needle down, close by, but in the same hole (2). Split the aida block for a neat knot. 1 2 3 1 Threequarters W 2 Work a quarter stitch, then a half stitch across the other diagonal arm of the square as in diagram 2. Like quarters, three-quarter stitches can face any direction. 2 not 1 Westie Dog key How to read our keys Two symbols W; When two symbols share a square, work a fractional in each colour. Decide on the quarter stitch for the background colour, then a three-quarters stitch for the main one (diagram 3). Cross stitch in two strands DMC Anchor Madeira Clear symbols, colours & all the info you need! blanc 01 310 415 471 3831 2 397 403 398 266 1006 2402 1805 2400 1802 1501 507 white light grey black grey green pink Z 10 10 j Thread brands W The thread shades are listed in separate columns for the different manufacturer brands of thread. For best results, you should stick to one manufacturer for the whole of a design. 4 Z 9 < Backstitch in one strand 310 403 2400 black ––––– 3 4 French knots in one strand 9 9 Back-to-back 310 403 2400 black O Backstitch & French knot shades W; For a stronger outline, work a three-quarter stitch in each colour, stitching them back-to-back (diagram 4). Make sure that the two half stitch arms lie neatly parallel to each other. 16 high x 20 wide 14 HPI (28-count evenweave) – 3x3.5cm (1 x1 in) STITCH COUNT DESIGN AREA Symbols The shades used for these are listed under the cross stitch symbols. The number of strands needed for these can vary, so make sure you check how many to use, as it’s specified in the key. Look for a symbol close to the chart centre – the arrows on our charts easily show the centre so you won’t need to count! Find this symbol in the key. The codes in that row show which thread shades to use for cross stitching blocks with this symbol. This design was stitched using DMC stranded cotton Stitch count & Design area The finished size of your design – in stitches and on a particular fabric. HPI stands for ‘holes per inch’. Jargon buster! Use our A-Z of cross stitch to know what’s what… Afghan – a woollen blanket with areas inset for cross stitching, often used for baby designs – a narrow strip of aida, available in varying widths, & finished with a decorative edge – a hole through which a design is seen in cards & frames – used to add detail & definition. See how to stitch it in our diagram above! Beading needle – a longer, finer needle than a tapestry needle, used for adding seed beads to a design quarter or three-quarters of a cross stitch, these allow you to create ‘rounded’ edges. See how to make these in our diagrams above! – made up of only one half (one ‘arm’) of a cross stitch, it gives less dense coverage so an overall lighter effect in the design – a wooden or spring-mounted plastic circular frame that holds your fabric taut while working a design – long backstitches, crossing larger fabric distances fabric that won’t fray when cut – an 8m length of stranded cotton, divisible into six separate strands – temporary fabric which, like waste canvas, is used to add cross stitching to non-counted fabrics & then dissolved away in water afterwards an evenweave fabric Longstitch Variegated thread – specific type of stranded cotton, in which the colour changes along the length of the thread for a shaded effect Skein Aida band Metallic threads Counted stitches – similar to stranded cottons, these have a metallic finish for shine and sparkle Soluble aida – embroidery stitches worked on counted, or evenly woven, fabrics like aida & evenweave. Cross stitch is the most basic counted stitch – USA term for stranded cotton Half stitch Waste canvas – loosely woven fabric held together with soluble glue. Used to add designs to clothing & other non-counted fabrics before being moistened & the fibres withdrawn with tweezers Aperture Perforated paper – toughened paper with a tiny grid of holes which can be stitched on instead of fabric Backstitch Floss Hoop Stitching over two – term used to describe stitching over two threads of the weave of Fractional stitches Plastic canvas – plastic alternative to – made from either a www.gathered.how/woxs The World of Cross Stitching 89
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