If you are a beginner stitcher prefer to use Aida cloth. Its weave forms clearly distinctive squares in the fabric, which eases the placing of stitches.
Another option is using waste canvas. It forms a grid for stitching which can be easily removed later.
Material Type: Aida Generic White
Sewing Count: 14/inch or 55/100mm
Design Size: 79 x 67 stitches
Sewn Design Size: 5.6 x 4.8 inches or 143 x 122 mm
Suggested Material Size: 11.5 x 10.7 inches or 293 x 272 mm
Stitch Style: Cross-stitch Using 2 strands
You want the cross-stitch to be the most beautiful.
The keyword for it is consistency of your stitching. It doesn't matter if you start your embroidery with "///" or with "\\\", it is important how you continue it. Just be consistent throughout the needlework project.
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