Cross Stitch

an_altan_alt Registered User regular
A good friend of mine isn't going to be working for the next few months and is going a bit stir crazy. She ordered a book of cross stitch patterns, but got completely lost when looking at supplies. I'm not familiar with this world at all, but would like to help her out. I gave it a search, but being unfamiliar with the topic, it wasn't that helpful.

Is there like a big-ass starter pack that would have everything a newbie cross stitcher could possibly need? Like just one single package that covers 98% of use cases and ships next day? I'm not really that price conscious, but just want something that ships to Canada and ships quickly. I think it would help her out quite a bit to have something to do until work returns.

Thanks in advance.

Pony wrote:
I think that the internet has been for years on the path to creating what is essentially an electronic Necronomicon: A collection of blasphemous unrealities so perverse that to even glimpse at its contents, if but for a moment, is to irrevocably forfeit a portion of your sanity.
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  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    There are starter kits out there that are designed to produce a predetermined pattern, and come with everything needed for that, which is probably a good jumping in point for a novice than going with a pattern book (which is a bit more advanced.) Amazon Canada has a wide variety of such sets, so that's where I'd start looking.

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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I love cross stitch, I really ought to do one. It's a good time for it and I didn't even think of it. There are a ton of little kits out there that come with a needle and all the thread you'll need. If you get one with Aida cloth (counted cross stitch) I find that the absolute easiest to work with, and it's the most forgiving for backtracking to correct a mistake. Books of patterns are fine but you need to do pretty much all the measuring and arrangement yourself, and there's enough counting as it is.

    If she really wants to go that route and likes particular colors for the piece she wants to put together, there are a few big brands of thread you can look up, you can find what colors they have available and order them by color number. Aida will almost certainly be the way to go IMO, it's so easy to work with, but again she'll need to measure the right amount for the piece she's put together herself and make sure she buys enough. It's just an overly complicated way for a beginner to start, and if she's the kind of person to get discouraged quickly that's the likely outcome.

    The small kits are usually pretty cheap, they come with everything you need, and they really hold your hand. Here is one with a cute kitty, and here is one with a Mario. You can get kits for whatever difficulty you feel like tackling from 20x20 stitches to level ridiculous with tens of thousands of stitches and you need to cross stitch the entire background. Most of them come with everything you could want for that piece, you just need to check. At some point she'll end up with enough hoops and needles and experience with counting that she shouldn't have any problem at all putting one together herself and ordering the cloth and thread.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    tynicchrishallett83
  • an_altan_alt Registered User regular
    That's really helpful information, thank you both! I'll track down a kit for her.

    Pony wrote:
    I think that the internet has been for years on the path to creating what is essentially an electronic Necronomicon: A collection of blasphemous unrealities so perverse that to even glimpse at its contents, if but for a moment, is to irrevocably forfeit a portion of your sanity.
    Xbox - PearlBlueS0ul, Steam
    If you ever need to talk to someone, feel free to message me. Yes, that includes you.
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Also, she should sort. The thread. By symbol. Before she starts. Some will do that and put it on a card and everything for her and that's ideal, but they don't always, and it will make her experience so much more pleasant.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    tynicchrishallett83Calica
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    If she wants to do the patterns from the book, the threads are probably DMC numbers. You can get them online by individual color or big bundles. Note that you tend to only use 2-3 of the 6 strands that make up the thread, so you cut a piece off and pull it apart. If the color isn't given in DMC numbers, a guide can be used e.g. https://lordlibidan.com/dmc-color-chart/

    https://www.dmc.com/us/ is where you can buy thread and it has free embroidery patterns.

    You need 4 things:

    1. Thread, as per the above. I don't think you can get a starter kit with every color without spending a lot of money, so it's good to know the palette of what you're doing and then buy accordingly.

    2. Aida 14 count is normal and just get a big chunk of it, a foot by a foot or bigger. Just get white or whatever.

    3. an embroidery hoop, and again any size is fine, probably 8 inches is normal.

    4. Embroidery needles, also available on the website above. A lot of sizes are fine but in general they are less sharp and have bigger eyes than other needles.

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  • CelloCello Registered User regular
    edited April 19
    Strong recommendation to check for any local stitching/sewing stores in your area as well. I have a few relatively modern ones in my area that are primarily sewing/specialty fabrics, but often they'll carry little embroidery kits or cross stitch kits designed by small run artists. A friend of mine got me an embroidery pattern pendant for my birthday last year that I'm still ramping up to start, for example; they're usually simple kits and self-contained, and she can chat with the store employees (in ah, better times) if she needs advice.

    Stitching circles are also a thing! I'd be surprised if there weren't online ones she can join as well. They're usually little social gatherings where people will all work on their stitching projects at once. I know we have some actual meetups in town that are all about that, and are a good way to get free advice. Amidst Covid restrictions there must be some online versions, too...

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  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    My mom used to cross stitch and I remember there being hundreds upon hundreds of colours. I'm not sure if that includes the fancier ones with shiny parts, etc.

    I messed around with it as well when I was younger, using my Mom's stuff to make little Mario characters and junk. It's time consuming and can get very tedious. I would recommend she start with a small kit to see if she doesn't absolutely hate it before investing more money. Something like this:

    https://www.amazon.ca/BASEIN-Embroidery-Starter-Including-Threads/dp/B07MMWCXZN/

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  • ChiselphaneChiselphane Registered User regular
    A bit late but a great Canadian vendor is The Witchy Stitcher. Her kits are a hair on the pricey side but the tradeoff is high quality material and a generous amount of it at that. Her free patterns are better than some I've paid money for, and all the patterns are very well laid out and easy to read. (You very quickly learn that not all pattern makers are alike; some people's work is nigh unusable if you have even a slight visual impairment(placing ~ and - pattern symbols next to each other in small black and white font should be a punishable offense)) She specializes in occult and horror movie themes so FYI if subject matter is an isssue

    https://www.thewitchystitcher.com/shop?Collection=Cross Stitch Kits

    Elvenshae
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