WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AIDA AND EVENWEAVE?
Aida fabric is referred to by its “count” or “holes per inch”. Each cross stitch should be worked over a single aida block. 14 count aida is ideal for beginners whilst 28 count is for the more experienced stitcher. Evenweave fabric is made up of evenly woven threads and is also referred to by its “count”. Each cross stitch should be worked over two horizontal and two vertical threads. So fabric with a 28HPI count (28 holes/threads per inch) will create 14 stitches per inch, the same as 14HPI AIDA. Halving the HPL of Evenweave gives you the equivalent AIDA HPI so it is easy to convert from Evenweave to AIDA and vice versa.
WHAT IS BACKSTITCH?
Backstitch is used to outline a design and to add extra detail. It should always be worked once the rest of the design is complete.
These are shown on the chart by two symbols opposite one another in a chart square.
French knots are represented on a chart by small coloured circles.
HALF CROSS STITCH
These are diagonal stitches that can create a subtle background in a design. Stitches should all be worked in the same direction i.e. bottom left to top right or top left to bottom right.
A neat and secure way to start your thread. Knot one end of your thread and take it down through the aida about 2cm from your starting point. Now bring it back to the fabric’s surface to make your first stitch. Work a row of cross stitches towards your knot, or if you prefer, work a row of half crosses and then work back along the same row to finish the cross. Once the starting thread is secure snip off the knot. To finish your thread weave your thread through the back of the stitches.
Using a single thread fold it in two to create a loop at one end and thread your needle with the two separate tail ends. Bring your needle up to the fabric’s surface with the loop on the reverse, make a half cross stitch passing the needle through the loop. Pull your needle and thread through the fabric to secure your loop on the reverse of the fabric.
STRANDED COTTON THREADS
DMC, Anchor and Madeira are the three main thread suppliers. Each thread length is made up of six twisted strands.
Tapestry needles come in a variety of sizes and have a blunt tip and a large eye which means they slip through the fabric grain with ease.
Whilst embroidery hoops/frames are not essential as you gain more experience and take on larger projects you will find that hoops/frames help to keep an even stitch tension.
Sharp embroidery scissors are essential for any project. Scissors should be kept in a fabric pouch and should only be used to cut threads.