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How to Cross Stitch | To Stitch in a Series| Subtypes of Cross Stitches| Two Over | Linen/Evenweave Calculator.| A Word About Floss

How to Cross Stitch

Your stitches will be a series of x's. This first set of instructions will show you how to make your stitches one at a time. The next set will show you how to stitch in a series so that you may fill a larger area with the same color of floss.

Thread your needle, do not knot the end. Leave 2 " or so of thread lose at the back of your project. Secure this lose end on the back side of your project under the first few stitches you make. This way you leave no bump from a knot.

Bring your needle up at point #1, down at point #2, up again at point #3 and down at point #4. This constitutes one whole cross stitch.

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To Stitch in a Series

You may want to make a series of cross stitches to fill a large area with the same color floss This illustration shows the process for stitching one row in series style. Make a series of 1/2 stitches for as many places as you need. Then double back making the crossing stem of your stitch.

This is what three horizontal rows of stitches will look like. Notice how each stitch shares holes with its neighbors.


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Subtypes of Cross Stitches

Whole cross stitches are composed of an entire x. Half, quarter and three quarter stitches are composed of parts of the x, as illustrated. This allows you to compose one cross stitch of two or more colors or to create smoother lines and clearer details in your design.

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Two Over

When you are instructed to stitch "two over" it means that you are to cross over 2 threads to compose one stitch. This style is used when you stitch on tightly woven fabrics. The biggest advantage to this style of stitching is that when you create quarter and three quarter stitches you have a hole just where you need it and don't have to pierce the warp or weft of your fabric.

I highly recommend stitching 2 over on 22, 28, 32+ count fabric whenever possible. If you buy a pattern calculated for 14 count fabric, that's 14 threads per inch, buy 28 count fabric and by stitching two over you will construct a picture the same size as the one stitched on 14 count fabric. Any cross stitch pattern can be stitched on any count fabric. The only thing that changes is the size of the finished project. To determine the size of your project and how much fabric you will need use our Linen/Evenweave Calculator.

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A Word About Floss

Floss is the thread you use to stitch embroidery or cross stitch designs. It can be made of cotton, rayon, silk or metallic fibers. Floss is generally composed of 6 tiny threads that are twisted together. Generally, when cross stitching, one cuts an arms length of floss and untwists 2 of the six threads and stitches with these two. Therefore each length of floss gives you 3 lengths of thread to stitch with. Read your patterns instruction for how many strands of floss you should use for each type of stitch. Specialty stitches, backstitches and French knots are often stitched with a different number of strands than the rest of the pattern. Check your pattern instructions for this information. Your pattern will also tell you how much and of what colors and type of floss you need. Floss colors are usually denoted by numbers. Take note of the brand name and fiber content that goes with the color number indicated to avoid errors in color choice.

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