Cross stitching is a creative and peaceful hobby to pick up. It can be as simple or as complex as your level of expertise allows. As the name implies you form various designs using tiny X’s from colored embroidery floss. It might be a tad frustrating to learn in the beginning but afterward you will easily glide through most patterns and make elaborate, beautiful creations. Another plus is that most cross stitching material is inexpensive yet esthetically pleasing.
Cross stitching threads
Most stitching projects will involve cotton, wool, or silk threads. They will be available in all the colors and tones you can imagine, along with distinct textures. Cross stitching thread is mostly referred to as embroidery floss. You will have to divide it into individual threads and the instructions will direct you to the number of threads you will use at a given time. The bigger the project, the more threads you will need. The majority will call for a six stranded thread though.
What not to do
When starting a project remember to keep that floss from tangling to avoid a bunched look to the final piece. Another extremely important fact to always remember is not to knot your thread! If you do, expect an uneven and lumpy final product that will not be endearing at all. All you need to do is pull the thread through the cloth material and leave a length of thread on the end. Hold onto the end piece on the back of your fabric and after a few stitches, the same thread will overlap. Overlapping of thread allows for it to stay in place. Practice if necessary but do not knot; ever.
What you should do
If this is your first time cross stitching, consider looking the subject up. There are unlimited videos and books you can easily view and read. Once you have a close idea as to what you are expected to do, select an easy pattern to practice with. After having picked out your pattern, buy the supplies you will need. Most projects enlist them (thread material, colors, cloth, etc.) right on the page. Be aware that some movements/techniques will be encoded so it will be necessary to look up the codes. It is important to understand fully what you have to do when the abbreviated label shows up as you go through your pattern.
Beginners are recommended to stick with Aida cloth, which is perfect because of the larger holes. Large holes will facilitate stitch count. Advanced cross stitching fans can put designs on almost any kind of fabric such as bedding and clothing. To avoid tangling your embroidery floss, you can “drop” your needle every few stitches. This technique involves dangling your needle with the thread in place to let it stretch out, keeping it nice and straight. Some skilled cross stitching doers might use a faster technique but the drop will work for those beginning.
It is a hobby you won’t regret
The cross stitch is a wonder and addicting hobby. Expect to spend hours upon hours stitching distinct projects with an array of colors. You will never regret picking up the habit but you might find yourself wanting to take on more than one project at a time. Prepare yourself for drawers full of stitching materials.