Most designs supposed to be done using two strands of embroidery floss. But the floss is usually sold in six strand packaging.
So before threading your needle, you should separate all the 6 strands.
To do it just cut somewhat about 15”-18” (35 - 45 cm) of the thread. Hold it near the top with one hand allowing the bottom to untwist. Now pull each ply upward with the other hand. Carefully - one at a time.
Combine the necessary number of strands (typically two) and save the remaining for the next usage.
Embroidery needles used for cross-stitch are often called cross stitch needles or tapestry needles.
Cross stitch needles come in different sizes depending on thickness. Most commonly used size is 24. It is the best choice for stitching on 14-count aida.
A tapestry needle is a hand sewing needle with a blunt end and a large eye.
You don't need a sharp needle to use with an open weave like Aida.
The rounded tip of a tapestry needle is important because it helps to ensure you don't accidentally pierce the threads of the fabric.
Use a sharp pair of small scissors to avoid frayed ends on your floss. There are many embroidery scissors or thread clippers to choose from. The most useful size of embroidery scissor for cross stitch is probably 3/12 inch or 4 inch. It is a convenient size for snipping ends of floss while you stitch. Clip the floss with a small tail or with no tail at all. It’s a matter of choice. Beware of ends showing through the fabric. We have many fancy designer scissors and several more plain scissors to choose from. Some of my favorites are by Gingher and they are truly collectors items. They come in a variety of colorful handles and there are new ones every season. Right now the newest one is called Tessa. Store your scissors in the sheath that they come with or in a scissor block if you collect scissors. A scissor block is similar to a knife block.
It is well known that cross-stitch is very addictive. Especially when you feel that you have enough time to be alone with the thread and needle. Do not give in! Take a break from time to time, putting off the thread and needle while resting your eyes and hands.
If you are too keen on your craft, use the alarm clock. When the alarm goes off, it’s time to put aside the fabric and other cross-stitch accessories and get some rest.
Try to buy all your threads for a specific cross-stitch project at once. Why? Because the embroidery thread is dyed in different dye lots. Hence even if you think that you get a specific color from a specific manufacturer, it can sometimes have a slightly different hue. Most times it is not that noticeable, but to be on the safe side, buy it all at once.
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