Cross stitches aren’t the only stitch used in cross stitching. There are several others that you may come across in patterns. They are pretty easy once you get the hang of them, but if you have never been shown how to do these stitches it can seem a bit daunting.
Basic Cross Stitches
First I am going to show you the same 4 basic stitches on 2 kinds of fabric. One is 11 count and the other is 22. On the 22 count fabric though, one stitch will take up 4 blocks rather than one on the 11 count fabric. These stitches are pretty much self explanatory from looking at the pictures.
Here is the 11 count fabric:
And the 22 count fabric:
With the 22 count fabric you can see what I mean by one cross stitch covering 4 blocks instead of just 1. It makes it easier if you have a lot of quarter and three quarter stitches in your pattern. The main downside is your eyes may get tired looking at all the small dots that are so close together.
Backstitch can really make your stitching pop! It’s also easy to do. Start by doing a straight line rather than a diagonal one.
Pull your thread through the far end of the next block then back down next to the stitch you just did:
And there you have it! Easy enough :)
For some reason, french knots put fear into the hearts of many embroiderers and cross stitchers. Honestly they aren’t that bad if you know how to do them (and practice). Here is the foolproof way to get perfect french knots every time.
First pull your thread up through wherever you want the knot. Then wrap the thread around the needle. The number of times you wrap it can vary but 2-3 is sufficient. Use the pictures as a guide. I’ll also mention that it helps to sit your project down as you are doing this because it’s hard to hold your needle, thread, and hoop all at once.
Then position the needle slightly next to where you brought it up. If you put it in the same spot you will pull the knot through to the back and it won’t work. Hold the thread while you do this so the loops don’t slip off the end of the needle. Only put about 1/3, or at most 1/2, of the needle through, don’t pull it all the way just yet! And don’t let go of the thread!
This next part is probably the most important thing to remember if you want a perfect french knot!! Pull the thread fairly tight so there is no slack in the loops. Make sure the loops are now sitting up against the fabric, not halfway up the needle or anywhere else. You want the knot to sit against the fabric in the end so right now you are positioning it. You’re almost done!
Finally you want to carefully pull the needle through the other side. Keep holding the thread so the loops stay together resting against the fabric.
And there is you wonderful french knot! Not as scary as you thought, huh?