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 Black
Sewing Count: 14/inch or 55/100mm
Design Size: 116 x 105 stitches
Sewn Design Size: 8.3 x 7.5 inches or 210 x 191 mm
Suggested Material Size: 14.2 x 13.4 inches or 360 x 341 mm
Stitch Style: Cross-stitch Using 2 strands
I assume that you yourself understand this, but still I will say. It is very important to wash your hands before touching the fabric or thread. Of course, you are going to wash the finished cross stitch design, but why make it dirtier?
In case you use a thread or fabric that is hand-dyed wash them in advance so that they do not stain your handwork.
Unwind your thread from time to time. Just leave the needle and let the thread loose - it will unwind itself... Or help it a little to unwind.
Do this every few stitches, otherwise the texture will be uneven and the fabric will show through your stitches too much.
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