How To Cross Stitch

Here we will try to explain how to Cross Stitch, although for some it may be more beneficial to watch the How To Videos to actually see what we mean.

Cross Stitch is generally known as Counted Cross Stitch due to the ‘counting’ of the squares on the Counted Cross Stitch chart, or pattern.

The first thing we were taught when learning to Cross Stitch was DO NOT KNOT! Do not start your work with knots and do not finish off your work with knots, there are no knots in Cross Stitch unless they are French Knots in the pattern itself. You will have enough knotting to worry about as you work through your counted Cross Stitch and your thread twists itself up into knots. The back of your work should be almost as neat and knot free as the front of your work.

That was lesson 1, now on to the actual stitching

Each Cross Stitch is worked by coming up with your thread in the bottom left hole, going down the First Layer of Stitchesdiagonal hole at top right. When pulling the thread through, catch the back with your fingers to stop it all coming right through. Hold this with a finger of your left hand (if you are right handed) and come up at the bottom right hole below the one you have just gone down in top right, do not pull tight and make sure the back of this stitch catches the thread you are holding at the back, then go down the diagonal top left to form your first X stitch. The first part of your stitch looks like this [/]  and the next part is the [\] to form the X.

Top Layer of StitchesLeft handed stitchers find it easier to work by coming up at bottom left, down at top right. Either way make sure you are consistent with all your stitches.

When you have a block of color the same you can start at the right edge of these and do all the / stitches first, then come back doing all the \ over those, it is easier to turn your work upside down when doing the top stitch. All stitches should be worked the same way with the underneath stitch from bottom left to top right [/] and the top stitch from bottom right to top left [\] and vise versa for left handed stitchers, but keep it consistent.

Careful attention should be taken to the ‘tension’ of your work. Don’t pull the thread too tight so the fabric gets bunched up and don’t have it too loose that the stitches can be caught and loops pulled at the front. Learn an even tension and your completed work will sit beautifully smooth on the fabric.

When finishing off, slip the needle and thread through the back of your completed stitches to secure and cut off the thread. Remember there are NO KNOTS in counted Cross Stitch unless the pattern says so!

If this didn’t make much sense, even after reading it again, and you still can’t grasp how to Cross Stitch, please see the ‘How To Videos’ page.  Many of us learn much better when we are shown how rather than reading how to Cross Stitch, certainly when learning something for the first time.