It is essential to centralise the
design. This is easily done by lightly folding the
fabric in half horizontally and vertically, then tacking
along the folds. The centre of the fabric is where the
two lines meet, and this can then be matched against the
centre of the chart which is usually indicated by the
In order to help prevent the stitched
material from becoming distorted, a frame or hoop can be
used, which will also keep the fabric taut whilst
working. If a frame is used, it is a good idea to wrap a
strip of material or tissue paper round the hoop to
protect the fabric from becoming marked and stretched in
the area the frame is placed. When you are not working
on the design, always remember to remove the frame.
WORKING FROM A CHART
One square on a chart represents one
stitch on the fabric.
STITCHING THE DESIGN
Each thread of stranded cotton
consists of six strands. It is usual to cross stitch
with two strands of cotton. One length of thread will,
therefore, divide into three lengths for stitching.
To avoid getting your thread tangled
and knotted, use a fairly short length, and try not to
carry long threads from one area of stitching to
another, particularly in dark colours, since they may
show through and ruin the finished work.
Always start at the centre, or count
out from the centre to the place you wish to start.
It is advisable not to secure your
thread with a knot when starting, since knots can cause
lumps on the right side of your fabric. The easiest
method is to draw a thread down from the right side of
the fabric, about an inch away from the place you intend
to start. Then work towards the loose end of the thread,
catching it in as you go. After a few stitches cut the
remaining thread off. To finish off, simply thread your
needle through some stitches on the reverse of your work
and cut off any excess thread.
When working cross stitch on the Aida
fabric provided in this kit, use every hole. Each stitch
is worked over a block consisting of four holes, and it
can be worked in two ways. You can either do a line of
half crosses first, and then finish the cross by working
backwards filling in the opposite diagonal (see diagram
1), or you can work the whole cross in one go (see
diagram 2). It is important to work the first diagonal
of each stitch in the same direction in order to give a
uniform appearance to the finished work.
It is best to complete all the cross
stitching before outlining the specified areas with
backstitch. One backstitch should correspond with one
cross stitch (see diagram 3). To work backstitch, bring
the needle up from the back at A, down from the front at
B, and up from the back at C and so on.
French knots are worked using two
strands of thread as follows. Bring the needle up from
the back of your work where you want the knot to be
(every alternate hole is a good distance). Hold the
thread, and wrap it round the needle twice. Keeping the
thread taught, push the needle back through the place
where it was initially brought through (see diagram 4).