Learn to Cross Stitch: Part 6 More Supplies

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In the last post about cross stitching supplies, I only detailed the basics – the items you would need to get started. Now I hope to share additional supplies that are nice to have or will make your stitching life easier. Some of these items I consider an absolute necessity for my stitching, but I know others who can easily live without them.

Blue Water Erasable Fabric Pen: I prefer water erasable to air soluble when cross stitching because I never know how long it is going to take to make something especially large projects. I grid my Aida in 10 by 10 squares with the pen before stitching. The water erasable will stay in place until I wash it out. Keep in mind that the water erasable pen will only rinse out after being soaked in water for a period of time when your design is finished.

Embroidery Hoops (Various Sizes): These are a must have when working on most work. If your work will take more than one sitting, you want a hoop to keep an even tension on your Aida. However, make sure to take your Aida out of the hoop after every stitching session. Ideally, your hoop should be able to hold your design comfortably.

ThreadHeavenThread Heaven: This is a thread conditioner that unlike beeswax leaves no coloration or smell over time on thread. I run each thread over the condition twice and wipe away the excess. This is especially useful when working with metallic threads as it easily frays and breaks after just a few stitches.

Metal Ring: You can find metal rings in the cross stitching section of a craft store. For smaller projects, generally less than 10 colors, I use a ring to keep my bobbins near and together.

Bobbin Case: Also, in the cross stitching section are cases to hold bobbins. I use them to store bobbins from past projects in order, and I also use them to keep my thread organized for larger work.

bobbin winderBobbin Winder: Not my favorite tool, but some people cannot live without one. I tend to alternate between using it to wind my threads and wrapping my threads by hand.

Needle Case: A case that can hold your needles when you aren’t using them. Look for one that has a magnet on the back; the magnet is very handy.

Needle Threader: Some days I can’t seem to thread needles without the help of a thread, You will want one that can be used with various needle eyes. You do not want one of those flimsy, light metal ones. They are meant to be disposable and are unsuitable for long-term use.

There are lots of tools out there, and I have more, but these are ones I use somewhat consistently.

 

 

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Learn to Cross Stitch: Part 1 Supplies

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Basic XStitch SuppliesCross stitch is fun and easy. Children 8-years-old, and sometimes younger, can learn. It can take time and patience, but anyone with the right tools can do it. To start, you’ll need:

Aida: Aida is the stitching medium (canvas) used in cross stitch. It comes in a variety of sizes. The size denotes the number of squares per inch. Beginning projects tend toward using a 14 count Aida. Expert level crafts may require 22 – 28 squares per inch. A 14-count Aida starts in price around $3 USD.

Tapestry needle: Tapestry needles come in a variety of sizes. I use Size 26 petite needles. However, for the 14-count aida, which is popular, a lot of stitchers recommend sizes 20 and 22 regular needles. It’s important to use a tapestry needle though because the tip is blunt, instead of sharp, to slide through the holes in the aida weave with ease. No matter which way you go, you can buy a pack of needles starting around $1.50.

Floss: Floss is the thread used in embroidery. Floss comes in bundles known as skeins that are divided into 6 strands each. Many companies make embroidery floss, but my preference is DMC. I have purchased it exclusively for several years now and have been very happy. It costs me between thirty-three to forty cents a skein.

Scissors: A pair of scissors to cut your floss; embroidery scissors are ideal, but any pair will do for a beginner. Embroidery scissors start in price around $3 a pair.

As you can see, you can get started for less than ten bucks. Expense comes from building the supplies that you will want to invest in after you get into the hobby.

If you are ready to learn, gather your supplies including red and yellow floss, and I will share with you a very simple chart to get you started. You will only need a bit of scrap 14 ct. Aida to get started – enough for a 15 x 15 grid. I will actually be using an Aida bookmark that I have on hand.