1. What is cross-stitch and what is counted cross-stitch?
Cross-stitch is stitching a design using small x-shaped stitches. Counted cross-stitch means that you will have to count the number of stitches on the pattern and stitch exactly the same number on the fabric.
Let us start by making a simple stitch before thinking about the details.
a. Thread the needle with the colour of the floss you want.
b. Tie a knot at the end of the thread (this time only, you will learn a better way later on).
c. Start at the lower side of the fabric (back).
d. Push the needle up one hole until you are stopped by the knot.
e. Locate a hole that lies diagonal to the one you came up from. (Not the hole above it but the hole beside the hole above it). Push the needle down the hole.
f. Get the needle out of the hole just above the one the needle originally came out from.
g. Locate the hole that lies diagonal to the one you just came up from. Push the needle through it so that it comes out from the back side.
h. You have an x-shaped stitch. This is a cross-stitch. Congratulations! You have made it!
If you stitch more than one stitch, then you can go up in a vertical way making half stitches, then when you reach the number of stitches required you go down again finishing up these stitches and completing them into whole ones.
Here are the steps:
g. Carry out steps from a - f then repeat the steps for the number of vertical stitches you need.
h. Locate the hole that lies diagonal to the one you just came up from. Push the needle through it so that it comes out from the back side.
i. Come out of the hole beside it. You have then completed your first stitch.
j. Repeat steps h and i until you complete all the half stitches you have started.
6. How do I keep my stitching neat on the back side?
(This is the back side of the fabric)
This is how it should look
This is how it should not look
Well, you could do that by making sure there are no threads flying around the back side. We do this by:
* Not tying a knot at the beginning.
a. By folding the thread into 2. Thread the needle with it. At one of the two ends of the thread you will get a loop.
b. Push the needle from the lower side to the upper side without tying any knots. Stop the loop from passing from the hole with your finger. (the other end of the thread should pass through the hole).
c. Push the needle down the hole that is diagonal to the one the needle came out from.
(This is the upper side of the fabric)
( This is the lower side of the fabric.)
d. Pass the needle through the loop that is formed.
f. Pull the thread. It is tied with no need for a knot.
* Not tying a knot at the end.
- When a piece of thread is about to finish. Move the needle with the little thread that is left under a few stitches. This way the thread will be trapped and will not move or become loose. Cut off any extra thread.
A backstitch is a straight kind of stitch that goes backwards.
Start at the Lower side of the fabric. Push the needle upwards. Move towards the hole that is straight behind the hole the needle just came out of. Push the needle down the hole. The needle comes out at the lower side of the fabric. Move the needle towards your starting point. Move past your starting point towards the hole just behind it. Push the needle up the hole towards the upper side of the fabric. Repeat the steps as needed.
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