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cross stitch
count aida
tapestry needle
strands
stitches
spare time
weave
needles
colours
fabric
friends and family
sky
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Cross stitch is a creative hobby which allows you to produce hand stitched gifts for friends and family. It is very relaxing and you can pick it up anytime you have some spare time. 

Which fabric should you start with?

Begin with 14 count aida as it is easier to work with. It has a regular weave and the holes are large enough to be seen. The count number refers to the number of holes per inch of material also known as HPI. Aida is available in a range of colours apart from the traditional white or off white and you can choose any colour you want for your project. You may want to choose a shade of blue, for instance, if your picture has a lot of sky as it may save some work!

Which needle should you use?

  Choose a blunt ended  tapestry needle or a cross stitch needle. There are different sizes available but for the 14 count aida  select a size 24. Needles are blunt with a large eye and are fairly easy to thread. They also come in different lengths and you may find shorter ones are preferable to long ones. This is because they use less thread, and when you have two stitches left to finish a section that short needle could be crucial!

What thread should you use?  

Start with stranded cotton. There are six strands and you should cut a length of 18" and carefully separate the strands.  Normally  two strands would be used to stitch with, unless the pattern says otherwise. Try out more than one brand of thread, as they are all slightly different, before you start collecting colours. This way you will find which brand you are more comfortable with. When you do start collecting colours try to stick to one brand to begin with.

Where do I make my first stitch?

Fold your material twice to a quarter of its size and the point will be the middle. Normally this is where you would start to make your first stitches. Your pattern will have heavy black lines showing you where the middle is. On the back of your material you should lightly pencil a T for top, so when you return to your work next time, you will be sure it is not upside down!

Taking your first stitches is fun and first steps to an amazing hobby. It is a great feeling of achievement to complete your first project. If you are enjoying learning how to cross stitch please also visit   howtocrossstitchstore.com


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