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Cross Stitch Chart
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Cross Stitch Chart

Cross stitch designs are available where the pattern is printed directly on to the fabrics and the cross stitches are worked to cover the printing. These designs are known as stamped cross stitch. The resulting cross stitches tend to be uneven and rather hit and miss, so results can be disappointing.

Far more popular now days are designs for counted cross stitch which is the topic of this article. Counted cross stitch is worked from charts, and each square on the chart, whether stitched or unstitched, represents one block of Aida or two threads of evenweave fabric. It is therefore important to be able to understand a chart and be able to translate it into stitching.

Many cross stitch charts are printed in colour so that you can see at a glance which colour to use for each stitch. To help further, each coloured square carries a symbol to clarify the exact colour that is required. If two different shades of one colour are used, the symbols help to distinguish them from each other. If you wish to make your work easier to carry with you, the symbols make it possible to take a black and white photocopy of a colour chart which can then be coloured in using crayons, pencils or textas if you find this helpful. Many cross stitch charts have a colour key which tells you which colour cross stitch thread corresponds to the colours marked on the chart.

It is important to find the central stitch in the chart as this is the first stitch worked in the centre of the fabric. Many charts have arrows indicating the central point, others will mark the central point with an asterisk or other mark, such as a five pointed star. If a chart is not marked in this way, you can find the centre by counting the squares in each direction and dividing them by two. You can then mark the centre of the design yourself.

You may have come across designs that have an unworked square or squares in the centre of the cross stitch fabric. In this case, you should count the empty squares on the chart outwards from the centre to the first area of stitching indicated on the cross stitch chart. On the fabric, you will need to count the same number of blank blocks or pairs of threads outwards from the centre to find the corresponding position to start stitching.


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