Friday, January 18, 2013

A Halted Start

At the risk of sounding like the complete novice I am, I have some serious questions about cross-stitching. And really, it's not that I'm a novice, but it's just been a very, very long time since I did any. And I don't think I ever used linen. So when this came to my mailbox the other day, I was excited, but.
When I pulled the beautiful linen out of the package, I noticed that *oh my those holes are close together*!

You see, I've joined The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's Woodland Sampler, and I'm seeing all those "big girls" on instagram going gung ho on this month's design, and well, I'm pretty much scared to start. There I said it.

So I started searching on the web and found these on stitching with linen and "stitching over 2":

 
 
Also, something about where to start 'the first stitch' and beginning at a vertical thread:


And I'm realizing I should have paid better attention about what needles I should use, because apparently I don't have any of the right kind. 

BUT, I do have this very helpful post from GnomeAngel telling all about stitch markers, which I saw her share on instagram, and begged to know more about. I will definitely be following her lead.

Sooo - I'm off to work, will pick up some tapestry needles while I'm out, and then will start finishing the edges of my linen for safe-keeping and hunt down my frame. Meanwhile, I hope you can tell me I'm not the only apprehensive starter out there. And if you are using linen, are you stitching over one or two threads for each cross? Any other helpful hints and resources to get me going would be much appreciated. Cuz I really want to get going.

31 comments:

dagmar.eu said...

Hi Debbie,
My grandmother taught me cross stitch when I was 8 and it was on precious linen scraps. Always make the crosses over 2 by 2 threads, don't use a hoop or you will distort the linen and have an awful time trying to make it nice again. Just lay it over your finger left index if you are right handed and stitch along a row or if you are stitching downwards adjust for every 2 stitches. It is so easy to do - I wish I lived near you to show you. I only discovered aida fabric when I was a teenager - my gran looked down her nose at that because it was just "cotton" I still have several things my gran embroidered but hardly anything that I did myself. I taught my 2 girls on aida because it is easier to learn on that (not so much counting) but also without a hoop. Have fun. I love the design you have chosen.

Annabella said...

You lost me early on Debbie as I have never cross stitched but just wanted to wish you luck - you can lay with the big girls, I'm sure of it!

Katie said...

I'm so glad you joined in the woodland sampler fun! I'm stitching on 28 ct linen and it's my first time stitching over 2 stitches, which is easier than I thought. I put my fabric into a q-snap frame, which is square and doesn't distort your fabric the way a round hoop does. I absolutely can't stitch without a hoop. All that fabric flopping around is so annoying!

I don't know anything about starting on vertical threads or even what a vertical thread is! I guess I should follow the link to see what I'm missing out on!

Allison said...

sorry, I can't help you with the cross stitch. I get apprehensive when starting a project & not knowing what I'm doing, too. I'm learning to just jump in with both feet, and write off any mistakes as a learning experience. I have total confidence that you are going to do a beautiful job with this sampler! I can't wait to see your first month all stitched up :)

quiltmania said...

It sounds like you are going to have a wonderful adventure learning something new. Good luck and have fun!

Leanne said...

I have not actually done any cross stitch in a long time either. I think it is like a bike, you will be fine. And the pattern is very cute.

Celtic Thistle said...

Definitely you need to stitch over 2 stitches you will go cross-eyed otherwise:)

You will probably begin at a vertical stitch naturally, so don't worry about it. Knowing where the linen thread should lie when you start a stitch makes it a lot easier to spot if you miscount when counting out a gap as the linen thread will be in the wrong place.

Looks like a lovely sampler I am sure you will enjoy sewing it once you get into the swing of stitching on linen.

Beth said...

Ha - I bought this too and have never done any cross stitching. I'm waiting for my supplies to arrive (and now thinking I also probably won't have the right needle.) I'll definitely be looking at your links since I have no idea how to start.

Sophie Belle Designs said...

Don't forget to pack your patience! rather you than me :)

Patricia said...

Oh Debbie that is so cute. You will love stitching on linen once you get used to it. Is it linen or evenweave? Easy to tell the difference because linen has uneven threads and in evenweave all the threads are of the same width. If you go to my stitching blog later I am putting up a new post, I was intending to anyway, about all the tricks I learned when cross stitching. Okay not all but a lot of them. So keep watch for www.tapestry-of-dreams.blogspot.com
Love
Patricia xxx

Amanda said...

Check out this tutorial...it's the best one I have seen and the picture really helps you see how to stitch over two stitches. If you only stitch over one it will be way too tiny. http://rosylittlethings.typepad.com/posie_gets_cozy/2012/01/counted-cross-stitch-part-1.html

Marci Girl said...

Oh this made my head hurt, but I do know that I would do 2x2 for sure. Now as far as hoop or no hoop? Don't know how bad that Linen really distorts, and what is easier for you to work with, you know? Maybe just jump in and learn as you go? I've never used Linen before, and now I don't want to! LOL

bruinbr said...

Thank you for posting this! I've never used linen before either and felt a bit lost! Off to check out your links!

Katie said...

I'm stitching mine on 28 ct linen, going 2x2. I don't use a hoop for cross stitch and never with linen. I find the fabric is stiff enough to not flop around on me too much.

I basted a horizontal and vertical line to mark where I was going to start. I haven't found it an issue to need to mark more than that, like in your examples. The count is pretty small compared to some patterns, and the motifs are close together.

Another tip I have, that you didn't mention, is to not start or end with knots. For the first stitches, I stitched over the tail on the back and for the remaining starts and stops, I whipped loosely around the back of other threads.

You will be fine with this. It was years ago that I did any cross stitch work but found it easy to find a rhythm again.

Suvi said...

I'm pretty sure you have to stitch 2 over 2 on that project. I've also stitched 1 over 1 (coasters, half cross stitches), and boy was it hard on my poor eyes! Get yourself some tapestry needles size 22 or 24 and a q-snap frame and you're all set to stitch! I love to cross stitch in the summer, winter is my knitting time instead!

Patchwork and Play said...

Katie's advice is spot on! She said all the things I would have suggested! Have fun, this looks like a fun design!

Katy Cameron said...

Sorry, I've never done cross stitch, only embroidery, but it's a cute pattern, and looks like you've had some great advice, so looking forward to seeing the results :o)

Deb said...

I was an avid cross stitcher for years on linen and then picked up quilting. Sadly, I haven't gone back to my cross stitch. Definitely go over 2 threads. Going over one will halve the size of your project and it will do your head in unless you have exceptional eyesight!

Always start on the vertical thread otherwise your crosses will slip. Don't use knots...just go under about 3 stitches to secure your ends. Lots of handy hints in the Salt and Pepper guide. I am happy for you to email me if you have any questions.

Jess said...

I've cross stitched for years, and always do two over two. I also never use a frame or hoop and have never found it a problem :o) Have fun!

Kirsten said...

I did cross stitch many years ago but only on the Aida cloth - I have never tried it on linen so am not much help.

SIMPLESEW said...

I am an avid cross-stitcher and once you stitch on Good Linen, you want go back. The stuff in those Hobby stores isnt the good stuff. Also over 2 , 2 threads and if you use a 26 the eye will space the fibers apart for you and your get to going fast. you use a tight hoop, starch when it gets wrinkly,, dont leave in the hoop when your not stitching. Glad you are stitching, I need to find more stitchers because I love it! But, just like you pay for the good linen, go to a cross-stitch store and buy the good stuff..

Candice said...

Oh my stars, I soooo wanted to join, but now I am soooo glad I did not cause I have NO IDEA what you just said :)!!! HA! seriously! I have tried cross stitching once when I was 8 at a sewing shop, and the lady was so mean to me, I took one class and never came back, so it left a sad taste in my mouth. I have been so tempted to join because I love Amanda's designs- maybe I'll watch and learn a bit :) Thanks for the links- that may help take some of the hebegebes away :)!!

Holli said...

I like all the advice you received here. I'm not using linen because I had some 18 ct something-or-other that I wanted to use. But I did use a single black thread basting stitch to mark the outer border so I wouldn't have to keep counting (or ripping out stitches as I did before I made the outline!). I'm looking forward to seeing your linen version!

CityHouseStudio said...

I agree with Amanda -- check out the tutorial at Posie Gets Cozy. I'm doing her cross stitch sampler right now (2 X 2!) and loving it!

Svetlana said...

Oh, how totally adorable. I have zero experience with cross stitch so I'm no help here, but I'll be watching from the sidelines to see you work your magic. Good luck!

Lynne said...

I always go over two, and never use a hoop. I find I can't see well on anything over 28 count anymore ( must update my prescription for my glasses, or use a magnifier). Have fun, your project looks really cute!

Rene' said...

I find it interesting that cross stitch is making a comeback. I used to love cross stitch but haven't pulled it out in a while. Of course, back in the day, I used Aida cloth. I especially love the look of the linen. Can't wait to see how your sampler comes along and if you decide to cross over one or two threads.

Heather said...

Have fun! I love cross stitching on linen, it looks so good. And stitch over two for sure!

Sarah said...

I was a prolific cross stitcher before I discovered patchwork. Now it's just too slow for me! I have only ever done it on Aida cloth, but have learned that if you use linen you do it over 2 threads. Good luck!

Heidi Staples said...

I believe the last time I stitched on linen, I did it over 2 threads. My motto with stitching on linen is that the little imperfections give it character. Actually, I suppose that's my motto about everything these days... :)

**nicke... said...

i am pinning this so i can come back and read everything in detail. i have been itching to start cross stitching with linen... actually just cross stitching at all!