What do I need to cross stitch?

The essentials you'll need are:

Fabric

Our charts are designed to be stitched on aida or evenweave. These fabrics are woven with an evenly-spaced grid of holes that you use to make your cross stitches. They come in various counts: 14-count aida is the most popular cross stitch fabric. It has 14 holes to the inch.

Threads

Most cross stitch designs are stitched with stranded embroidery cotton. This is a divisible thread made up of six strands. You can use all six or pull out as many strands as instructed in the key. Designs stitched on 14-count aida are usually worked in two strands.

Needles

A blunt tapestry needle is best for cross stitch. It is the most comfortable needle for passing back and forth through the holes in the aida. Use a size 24 for 14-count aida and a size 26 for 16- and 18-count aida or 28-count evenweave.

Other equipment

Use embroidery scissors to cut off the thread ends cleanly. These small scissors have very sharp points. You may also need a wooden hoop to hold your fabric taut while you stitch and a bag to keep the materials for a project together.

Five ways to get ahead for Christmas
Body:

Don’t let Christmas Day sneak up on you this year – plan your festive stitching now...
 

  1. Early bird

    It’s time to write a list and see how many cards you need to get through each week. If you want to get going now, try one of the free card kit gifts with The World of Cross Stitching – this Margaret Sherry design that came with issue 181 is ideal.
     
  2. Ready for Santa

    Start stitching kids’ stockings soon to ensure they are finished in time for old St Nick’s arrival. We adore this ‘Penguin Joy Stocking’, £26.99, by Janlynn. Buy it from Sew and So.

     
  3. Be prepared

    Make sure you’ve got all the inspiration and stash you need by heading to a festive craft fair near you. Check out our events page regularly to make sure you don't miss out on the best ones.

     
  4. Personal best

    Stitch a challenging kit as a treat. ‘Merry Christmas Santa’, £18.50, Dimensions Petites Gold, would make a nice, substantial stitch for in between all those quick cards. Email crafts@stockistenquiries.co.uk for stockists.

     
  5. Surprise, surprise!

    Allow plenty of time to stitch in secret if you are making gifts for close family. This ‘Let it Snow’ sampler, £25, would be great for a fan of the holiday season. Buy the kit from The Historical Sampler Company.

 

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