Fabric Calculator

To check on the size of fabric needed on various counts, click here for a fabric calculator. Site will open in a new window.

Selecting the Fabric - Aida vs. Evenweaves/Linen

Counted cross stitch has few rules. The main one is to enjoy yourself. You may follow or ignore any of the tips listed in this FAQ and still be a "real" cross stitcher. People often learn to do counted cross stitch on aida and later learn to stitch on linen...

Selecting the Needle

Counted cross stitch should be done with a tapestry needle. Tapestry needles have blunt points and much larger eyes than sewing needles. The blunt points prevent the needles from piercing fabric threads. Tapestry needles come in a variety of sizes. A larger size number means a smaller needle. Cross stitching...

Setting the Floss Color

Floss is generally colorfast, but some people like to be very cautious when using dark or intense colors in heirloom quality projects. If you choose to be this cautious, do the following. Remove the floss from the paper wrapper. Place each skein of floss in a separate glass container containing...

Preparing the Fabric

The following suggestions are very conservative and cautious. It is safest to list many things of which a stitcher might want to be aware. You are then free to use or ignore whatever you choose. Trim off any selvage edges, as the tightly woven edge may cause uneven tension in...

Hoop or Hand?

There is a traditional rule which says to stitch on aida using a hoop and stitch on linen "in the hand". In actual practice, people do whatever works best for them. Many who like their fabric taut do tend to avoid hoops in favor of scroll bars or Q-Snaps when...

Thread Length

Floss should be cut about 18"-20" long, or twice that if the thread will be doubled for the loop method. Some people like to use one arm length when doubling. Metallics or any fibers with rough surfaces should be cut somewhat shorter to help prevent fraying. Separate the floss into...

Number of Strands to Use

The number of strands of floss to use is, as with most of counted cross stitch, open to individual choice. Traditionally, a certain amount of the background cloth should be visible. However, some people prefer a full, covered look. Some common choices are two or three strands for 14 stitches...

Where to Start Stitching

You're finally ready to make that first stitch on a new piece of fabric. What's the right location in which to start? The center of the cloth? The upper left? The lower right? The design should be centered. Find the center of the fabric by folding it in half, then...