The world of cross stitching is a fascinating one. There are literally thousands of stitches available, and the possibilities for creating unique designs are endless. The following tips will help you to get started in this wonderful hobby.
If you have never stitched before, it’s probably best that you start with simple projects. This way you won’t be overwhelmed by all the different types of threads, needles and other equipment. Beginners should also find that they can make good use of basic patterns. Patterns such as log cabin or blanket stitch work well for beginners because they don’t require too much skill. These are often accompanied by charts which show exactly what each piece needs to look like.
Once you’ve mastered these easy techniques, then you may want to try some more complicated ones. You’ll need to learn about various materials and how they’re used. One thing is certain though – once you begin, you’ll become addicted!
Basic Cross-stitching Techniques
Before you begin stitching your first project, there are a few things you should know. Learning the basics of cross stitching involves both learning how to hold your frame properly, and understanding the tools you will need to complete your design.
Holding Your Frame Correctly
Holding your frame correctly when working on a large scale pattern is important. It’s not just how you hold the frame but how you position yourself while doing so. If you sit up straight, your shoulders shouldn’t be slouched forward. Your arms should rest comfortably at your sides.
When holding your frame, you should place your thumb across the top right hand corner (not the bottom). Place your index finger under the lower left hand corner. This forms an “X” shape. Hold the frame firmly between your thumb and your forefinger. Don’t grip the corners tightly. Instead, lightly grasp the frame between your fingers and thumb.
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Then, take the needle from its back post and go through the front of the canvas. Insert the thread from underneath the canvas, leaving approximately 2 inches free. Thread the needle again, and bring it out through the same hole where the previous end was inserted. Repeat this process until you reach the opposite side. You should now have three ends going into the canvas.
Once you’ve completed this step, you can create a border around your design. Simply cut the excess thread using scissors. At this point, you should now be ready to begin stitching. However, if you’d prefer to practice first, you can always lay your frame face down on a flat surface. Make sure you have plenty of room to move around without bumping against anything. This is especially true if you have a larger-than-average sized pattern.
Choosing Needles And Other Equipment
Now that you understand how to hold your frame, it’s time to choose your needles. There are many different kinds of cross-stitching needles available today. They range from very small sizes to very large sizes. Some needles only come in set pairs. Others come individually wrapped. When choosing a needle, decide how thick the fabric is that you plan to stitch upon. Also consider your level of experience. Smaller size needles tend to be easier to control than larger ones. Keep in mind that smaller needles will produce tighter stitches.
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Another consideration is whether you intend to use heavy duty linen fabrics or light weight cotton fabrics. Linen fabrics are generally thicker than cotton fabrics, and therefore require heavier duty needles. On the other hand, lighter weight cottons are usually thinner and require smaller needles.
Finally, you must consider where you will store your supplies. Do you want to keep them nearby or do you want something portable? Depending on where you choose to store your supplies, you might need to buy additional storage containers.
Here is a list of commonly used cross-stitching supplies:
Thread Tension Wrench
Blunt Tip Scissors
Lamp Oil Can
Which Colors Should I Use?
Now that you know how to hold your frame and choose your needles, it’s time to pick colors. As mentioned previously, the most popular color combination is red/blue. Red and blue yarns are perfect choices for beginners because they are relatively cheap and readily available. Many beginner kits contain both colors.
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There are many different shades of color available. In general, dark colors are preferred because they blend better than lighter hues. However, darker colors are harder to see on a white background. Therefore, you should test them on scraps of backing material to determine their final appearance.
A good rule of thumb is to stick with two colors. This prevents boredom as you progress. It gives you a chance to experiment with different combinations. Try combining different colored yarns, too. Most people prefer to alternate colors throughout their work, although this isn’t mandatory. Experimentation is encouraged!
What Kind Of Frame Will Look Best With My Work?
When selecting a frame, consider several factors. First, think about the type of project you wish to display in the future. Is it a picture frame? Perhaps it would look better as part of a cabinet. Or maybe you may wish to hang it permanently.
You should also consider the overall style of the piece. Does it fit into a contemporary setting? Would it look better in a rustic environment?
And finally, consider your budget. Frames are available in a variety of price ranges. Some frames cost hundreds of dollars, whereas others are less expensive.
What Are The Best Designs for Beginning Cross-Stitchers?
Many patterns exist to suit any taste. But if you’re new to cross stitching, why not start with some of the simplest patterns? Log Cabin and Blanket Stitches are great options for beginning cross-stitchers. Charts accompany each pattern, making it easy to follow. Although they are somewhat limited, beginners should find comfort in knowing that they will eventually develop confidence as they gain experience.
Another option for beginners is to select a kit that includes everything needed to complete your first project. Kits are convenient and usually include instructions, patterns and even backing fabric.
In summary, cross-stitching is a fun and rewarding hobby. By applying the helpful advice provided here, you’ll soon discover that you could easily turn cross-stitching into a full-time occupation. Happy stitcherings!