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Cross Stitch Basics Guide

What is Cross Stitch?

Cross stitch is comprised of X-shaped stitches. Aida is the most popular base, it has small holes on the corner of easy to see squares. Evenweave fabric  have threads woven singly rather than in blocks.

Cross Stitch Charts

Cross stitches are represented by colour/symbol squares on a grid. Use the chart legend to match the symbols to the floss colours.

Choosing your Fabric 

Your chart will indicate what is a suitable count for your project. The smaller the count of stitches per inch, the bigger the stitches will look. 14 count is easy to view and the most popular base. Choose a high count fabric if you would like to fit more detail into your work.

Preparing your Thread

Cut a length about 30cm long. DMC stranded floss is made up of 6 strands. Your chart will indicate how many strands to use.

Choosing your Needle

Cross stitch needles have blunt ends. The size you use depends on the count of your fabric. The smaller the number #, the thicker the needle. #24 is a good choice for 14 count, the most popular aida count used for cross stitch.

Stitching over 1 or 2

Stitches are usually stitched ‘over 1’ on aida and ‘over 2’ on evenweave. For example, if stitching ‘over 2’ on 32 count, the stitch size will be the equivalent to a 16 count ‘over 1’ stitch.


A complete stitch method can be worked, or a number of half stitches along a row before returning to the start. All top stitches should face the same direction.

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