HOW MUCH MATERIAL DO I NEED?
If you are using Aida the material will be measured in holes per inch (Hpi). Linen is categorised by a count size, for example a 28 count linen. When you use linen you normally stitch over two threads, so 28-count linen divided by 2 will give you 14 stitches per inch, which is the same as if 14 Hpi Aida was being used.
To work out how much fabric is needed for a specific chart, you will need to find out the design size. For example, if the chart has a design of 59 x 39 squares, and it is recommended that 14 Hpi Aida should be utilised for that project, then use the following calculation: Divide the length (59) and the width (39) by the Hpi (stitch count) of 14. 59 divided by 14 = 4.21 inches, and 39 divided by 14 = 2.78 inches. The final size of the fished design would be approximately 4 ¼ x 2 ¾ or 10.7cm x 7.0 cm. (To convert inches to cm multiply the inches by 2.54). You would need to add at least 4 inches (10 cm) to each dimension to allow for framing, and an additional 3" (7.5 cm) for a mount 1 ½" (3.8 cm) wide, and 4" (10 cm) extra for a 2" (5 cm) wide mount.
WORKING ON DARK FABRIC
Have a light under the work, and a white cloth on your lap, to help you see the holes. Even if you are one of the people who simply hate using frames or hoops, I'm afraid this is the time to use one, as by stretching the material taut it is easier to see the holes.
KEEPING WORK FRAMED IN FLEXI-HOOPS
Before you frame the work put a piece of cling film over the work and frame both together, trapping the cling film between the two hoops. You can trim the cling film close to the back of the hoop. You can replace the cling film if it gets torn or grubby.
ISOLATED SINGLE STITCHES
If your design has one or two isolated stitches on the background, and there are no other nearby stitches to which you can secure your thread by running it through the back of the stitches, try this Quick Tip. Fold a single strand in two, and thread the ends through the needle creating a loop at the other end. Make your stitch and then put the needle through the loop at the back of the work to secure the stitch.
WASHING YOUR CROSS STITCHED WORK
THREADING METALLIC THREADS
Cut a small strip of thin paper that, when folded, will fit through the eye of the needle. Fold the strip in half lengthways and lie the thread length along the fold. Push the end of the paper through the eye and the thread will be threaded with it. Remove the paper.
USING METALLIC THREADS
Coton Perle is a single strand cotton thread with a slight sheen, which is made in three different thicknesses: 3 - heavy, 5 - medium, 8 - fine. It can be used very effectively alongside needlepoint worked in tapestry or crewel wool to give a shiny contrast against the wool background. No. 5 is roughly the same thickness as crewel wool.