Begin at the Beginning: Cross Stitch

Le 10 March 2017
Cross Stitch

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    Begin at the Beginning: Cross Stitch Hints and Tips to Help Get You Started

    Interested in giving cross stitch a try? Wonderful! We know you won’t regret it. To help your effort, we’ve provided some hints and tips below. Preparing Your Thread [caption id="attachment_6266" align="aligncenter" width="307"]Separating floss Separating floss.[/caption] DMC embroidery floss is composed of six strands that are twisted together and easy to separate. Many cross stitch designs stitched on 14-count Aida call for only two strands of floss, so you’ll need to separate the strands. Your design chart will indicate how many strands (or piles) of floss the pattern requires. To separate your strands of floss you’ll want to first find the end of the thread. Pull the end out from the skein slowly. Do this until you have an 18” length of floss and then cut it off. To separate the floss into individual strands, pull one strand up and out slowly until it is completely separated from the remaining strands. Continue to pull out the number of strands you’ll need to stitch with. To rejoin the threads, hold them together at one end and then gently stroke the lengths to smooth and recombine them. Estimating the Amount of Thread for Your Project The amount of thread you’ll need for a project depends on a number of variables. The tension of the stitch and where the color is placed in the design are the two primary elements in figuring out thread amounts. A quick way to estimate the amount of thread you’ll need for a large project is to take one 18” length in the correct ply and cross stitch the fabric until the thread is finished. You will then know how many stitches per length of thread you can make. Each skein of DMC embroidery floss is 8.7 yards. A skein of Pearl Cotton 5 contains 27 yards. By counting the stitches on your chart and using a calculator, you should be able to determine the amount you’ll need. Most charts assume that one skein will be enough, however, in larger projects like afghans, the chart will indicate how many skeins of each color are needed. Preparing Your Fabric Before you begin stitching, remember to find the center of your fabric. This will ensure that your design is centered. To find the fabric’s middle, fold it in half and then fold it in half again. The center is located where the folds intersect. Mark the center point with a water soluble pen. Things to keep in mind: • Every chart lists the finished size of the cross stitch design. Add at least 3” all around the design area for framing (or more if your finishing technique requires it). • DO NOT wash your fabric before using it. Washing it will tighten up the holes and make stitching on the fabric more difficult because the squares will be harder to see. • Embroidery hoops are useful, especially if you are a beginner. <p<How to Use an Embroidery Hoop [caption id="attachment_6265" align="aligncenter" width="258"]Using an embroidery hoop. Using an embroidery hoop.[/caption] • First you’ll want to loosen the screw or nut on the outer hoop and then separate the inner and outer rings. The outer ring holds the fabric over the inner ring. [caption id="attachment_6264" align="aligncenter" width="258"]Using an embroidery hoop. Using an embroidery hoop.[/caption] • Place the inner ring on a flat surface. Place your fabric over it. • Put the outer ring over the fabric and press until the bottom ring is snug inside the outer ring. Tug the corners of the fabric slightly to make sure it’s taut. This is important because you don’t want the fabric to slip out of the hoop. [caption id="attachment_6263" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Using an embroidery hoop. Using an embroidery hoop.[/caption] • Tighten the nut or screw securely. • Now you’re ready to stitch! Note: Don’t leave your work in the hoop for too long. This can cause creases in the fabric that are difficult to remove. To prevent this, take your work out of the hoop when you’re not stitching, you can put it back in the hoop in no time. Preparing Your Needle [caption id="attachment_6262" align="aligncenter" width="299"]Using a DMC Needle Threader. Using a DMC Needle Threader.[/caption] We recommend using the DMC Needle Threader to help you thread your needle. To use this tool, slide the eye of the needle onto the hook, then loop the thread on the hook and pass the hook through the eye of the needle and pull the thread through. If you don’t have a DMC Needle Threader, here are some other ways to thread your needle: Pinch and Poke [caption id="attachment_6261" align="aligncenter" width="315"]The 'pinch and poke' method. The 'pinch and poke' method.[/caption] To do this method, first cut a clean end of thread and pinch it between your thumb and forefinger, leaving only a little of the end exposed. Holding the needle in your other hand, “poke” the eye of the needle over the tip and the thread into the eye, then pull the thread through. Pinching the thread gives you more control to guide the thread into the eye. You may have to “saw” the eye of the needle back and forth slightly to get the thread to enter the eye. Loop, Pinch, and Press [caption id="attachment_6260" align="aligncenter" width="315"]The 'loop, pinch, and poke' method. The 'loop, pinch, and poke' method.[/caption] Loop the end of the thread over the eye of the needle and pinch the loop tightly between your thumb and forefinger. Remove the needle from the loop and press the eye of the needle down over the thread. Pull on the loop to get the thread through the eye of the needle. Note: Whenever you’re stitching, make sure your hands and work surface are kept clean. We recommend washing your hands before you begin stitching (and try to remember to keep drinks and snacks away from the area).

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