Cross Stitch Inquiry

TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEONIndiaRegistered User regular
My bathroom's walls are bare and I want to cross stitch a thing to hang up in there. The plan is to mount one of those wooden cross stitch hoops with the cross stitch in it because that looks rustic. I found this website which lets me make a pattern but I know nothing of cross stitch, so:

1. Where is the cheapest place to buy cross stitch stuff?
2. What like, thread count or whatever should I buy, for the fabric? And are there different kinds of cross stitch string? Should I get some specific kind?
3. Is there anything I should know? I'm not sure I even know anyone in my entire extended family who has done cross stitch (it doesn't seem like it's much of a Jew thing, come to think of it) and I don't think any of my friends do it either so I'm kind of at sea here.


  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    You can find materials at a crafts or sewing store, usually. Pretty cheap. I remember getting some at a Jo-ann's Fabrics once, but a store like Michaels or something should have materials.

    I've used embroidery thread before, since it's really thick (the same thread friendship bracelets are made from) but if you get a really small-threaded fabric/base(? not sure the proper term) to cross-stitch on, you may want to try a smaller thread. Thread is generally so cheap that you could probably just buy a few sizes to try out if you weren't sure.

  • 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
    The fabric you will want to use for counted cross stitch (which will look nicest in what you're talking about) is called aida fabric, likely 14-count. You will want 6-strand embroidery floss, as well as (and this is important) DULL needles. Sharp needles will catch your fabric. You will probably use two strands of the six when you work.

    Also I'm Jewish. :P

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON IndiaRegistered User regular
    Went to a craft store and got a hoop and some thread, but the only cloth they had was 10 yards of cloth, and I think that's a little more than I need, and they didn't have any needles, so I need those too. Any reason not to buy (for instance) this fabric and these needles?

    Also I probably need to learn how to cross stitch. Any good resources? Or should I Google it and hope for the best?

  • 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
    That's a whole lot of cloth and it doesn't tell you what count. The higher the count, the finer the work will be and the smaller the stitches. As a beginner you may really want to make sure you get 14-count, and it will also give you the most visibility for your buck.

    The needles are exactly what you want.

    Honestly, I recommend picking up a kit like this to start with. It will come with cloth of the appropriate size and the exact color threads you need to do the kit, plus visual instructions for how to do the stitches the kit requires to complete it. You can alter or reuse the patterns when you're done, and it's usually pretty cheap for stuff like this.

    In the end, nice stitching is all about getting the proper tension. Don't pull too hard or leave things hanging, and make sure your tension is consistent.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • radroadkillradroadkill MDRegistered User regular
    14 to 16 count Aida cloths are the easiest to start with. I typically go to Michael's for my supplies because I live by one and they typically have what I need. When I've needed to order a larger amount of hoops for gifts this has always been my go to.

    When doing a 14 count I typically use a size 24 tapestry needle, and 16 to 18 counts I go to a 28 size needle. The smaller the count size the smaller the needle to avoid leaving giant holes when you push the needle through.

    Tapestry needles are the blunt ones- embroidery needles will be sharp and can snag/rip your fabric.

    There are typically two main thread brands used: DMC and Anchor. Most patterns I've ever bought/used/made use DMC. As Ceres said, you'll typically use two strands of thread at a time but sometimes back stitching and certain patterns will use one- if you're using a pattern it will typically dictate what to do.

    Buying some sort of beginner's kit is the perfect way to get a little practice in before attempting something big. I typically get most of my patterns from Etsy sellers and Sprite Stitch.

    Nerdgasmic wrote: »
    Like some sort of raptor or the Great panda, Rad cannot properly initiate egg preparation if she senses a disturbance within her environment.
  • credeikicredeiki Registered User regular
    Cross-stitching is a very simple mechanical task--a youtube video or online tutorial will definitely be enough. The only real factor that skill plays is in maintaining a reasonable and even thread tension throughout (if you're pulling really hard such that the holes are stretching, that's bad; likewise, if you are leaving your x's very loose and bumpy, that's also bad.) I wouldn't recommend a kit, because that might be boring--for any craft skill (quilting, embroidery, etc), I've found it best to just start making something that I actually wanted, so that I would try my hardest to finish it well and quickly.

    Yeah, just buy a couple of feet of 14 count Aida cloth. If you're forced to buy more, it won't break the bank--probably should be $10 for a yard. Remember that it comes in colors other than white--some patterns look really cool on black cloth, for example. Or if you were doing something with a sky, you could get blue, so you didn't have to actually stitch in the sky.

    Also, make sure you buy a hoop. It will be much easier to stitch if your fabric is nicely stretched out. (First couple of things that show up when entering "embroidery hoop" into amazon are fine; should be like $2-5 for a functional hoop).

    If you enjoy design at all, it's very fun to make patterns. You can use sprite maps, or load anything into photoshop and lay a grid over it. Anime works really well because it has areas of solid color that you can easily translate into a cross-stitch pattern, but with some effort, you could work from a photo or other image.

    Not sure where the impression is from that cross-stitching isn't a Jewish thing--I mean, ok, I guess a kitschy "bless this house" reads as pretty WASP-y, but just being a nerd making video game cross-stitches (or whatever floats your boat) transcends cultural bounds.

    Anyway, good luck! Cross-stitching can be a very relaxing and chill activity, with pretty results.

    Steam, LoL: credeiki
  • HollerHoller Registered User regular
    I really like Makoto's books. To people who are really serious about cross-stitching, I'm sure they're pretty useless, but as a perpetual beginner, I think they're really fun.

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