There are not many things you need to get to start this amazing hobby. In fact if you were to get a kit, it would come with everything you need in one package. But if you choose to get a chart there are a few things you need to get before you begin your project.
The most important to get and there are so many types that you wonder how will you choose. First you decide on the count that you would like to do the pattern on. Most charts will tell you the size based on their own recommended count but there is no pressure to stick to their recommendation. If you don’t feel comfortable doing your cross stitch on a 28 or 32 count which has ultra small squares, then by all means choose a more comfortable 18-count fabric. It’s easier to stitch on and it doesn’t compromise the end result that much. The only thing you have to consider is the size of the fabric. Because of the tiny squares, a design on a 32 count fabric will be smaller and tighter. But a design on an 18-count fabric will be a few inches bigger so always do check the size of the fabric before you get them and don’t forget to include at least 3 inches extra for framing.
After deciding on the count, you can decide on the kind of fabric you will want. There are softer fabric, hard fabrics, fabrics that don’t fray, and embellished fabrics. The most common fabric is called Aida and this you can find anywhere. Fabrics will get softer and easier to hold as you go along with your project.
There are a few sizes to the needle and it’s better to choose the needle that is fitted for the fabric count. There are sizes 18, 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28. The most commonly used one is size 28 which is perfect for 18-count Aida fabric.
3. Thread or Floss
There are a few manufacturers of cross stitch thread and the two biggest ones are Anchor and DMC. The threads come in all the colors you can imagine. And each thread is made of 6 strands. For cross stitch, you have to separate these threads into sets of 2 strands for the most common stitch. The half-stitch at times require only 1 strand and there are stitches that require a combination of 2 colors. These are just one of the most exciting parts of doing a cross stitch project.
When you are done with your cross stitch, don’t throw away the extra floss. Keep it for future patterns that come in a magazine or you can even create your own mini designs. You never know when you might be short of thread so those leftovers will come in handy later.
The above are the three most important things you need to begin your cross stitch. Other than that, you can find the rest of the things around the house or even at the nearby store. Things like a storage space, an embroidery hoop or a thimble are just optional things to get. It’s not that essential but if you feel that you need it and it makes your job more enjoyable by all means, go for it.
Hamidah Gul is a freelance published writer whose works in fiction have been published both in print and electronically. She also runs www.TheArtofStitch.com an online needlecraft store.
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Photo Credit: J. Durham