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In this video, learn the basics of cross stitching, such as how to thread the needle and how to do the half cross stitch.
Tags:threading the Needle and the Half Cross Stitch,cross stitch,cross stitches,how to thread the needle and the half cross stitch,monkeysee,needlework,stiches
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How to Thread the Needle and the Half Cross Stitch
Hi, I’m Jannette. Let's begin the project that we looked at in the earlier clips. I’m going to show you how to hoop the project and to prepare for stitching. There is a void in a wrong side of cross stitch fabric. Even if you have your edges cut off, you can find out what side that is simply by pulling corner to corner. The fabric will want to point toward the center or toward the front of the fabric.
This is the front of the fabric. This may look a little backwards to you but there is a reason for hooping it this way. This is the right side of the fabric. I’m going to lay it down on top of the hoop this way and I’m going to take my hoop and put it over it just like this and I’m going to mash it down to where is nice and taut. Okay, we have it in the hoop. I’ll tighten the screw just a little bit and we’re ready to start working.
Remember, this is the right side of the fabric. The reason why it is this way is because I am always holding the back side of the fabric. So, if my hands—hopefully I’ve washed them beforehand and I’ve been very careful but if there’s anything on my hands, it will not get onto the front side of my work which will be seen when this is on display. Okay, let's begin.
The first thing we need to do is thread up our needle. Floss comes with a little arrow on the back right here. This is a side that you need to pull from. It makes it much easier because I will not tangle this way.
So, let's begin by pulling out about an 18-inch length of floss. We’re going to take our nice little embroidery scissors and cut it. One reason why we went from there is that we’re going to thread this end into the needle. The way I find which end I want to thread into the needle and as I tap my floss slightly and it will flower just a little bit showing all six strands. Do not try to pull the floss this way because if you do, you will end up with a tangled mess rather take one strand at a time and pull them out.
We’re working on 14-count fabric today and I want to use two strands. See how nice that fell out? Okay now, I’m going to thread my needle. This is a number 26 tapestry needle. We do not use sharp needles in counted cross-stitch because it splits threads and causes a messy appearance. We always use tapestry needles. I do not have a threader available so I’m going to thread mine the way I like to thread mine because I have a tendency to lose threaders.
I’m going to take my needle. I’m going to put my thread over the needle and I’m going to run the thread down to the point and pinch it. Now, I’m going to take my needle and put it over the top of the thread and just kind of wiggle it a little bit. You can see the two little loops coming up through, take your thumbnail and your finger and pull it through. Okay, we’re ready to go. Let's start within away knot. We’re going to put those in later. So we’ll just simply make a knot. We do not leave this know in the work. You never leave knots in cross stitch.
If these were a larger piece and I was concerned about framing it, I would have measured down to my beginning place. Generally, you’d buy six inches more than a fabric than what you will need for your designs so that you have framing space and then you would measure it down and over and begin in the upper left hand corner. If your design is not a square, you can measure down in the middle three inches and begin at the top but distances are very small and I have plenty of fabric. I’m not going to really worry a whole lot about whether it's absolutely centered. Some of this is going to be cut away, anyway. So there is my away knot. I’m going to allow about three inches of thread that I’m going to come back to and put in at the end.
Now we’re going to look at our graph. The thread that I am using is DMC color 798. And the symbol for that color is right over here which is a little half-square triangle. If you look at your graph, it is right here on your graph. On your graph, every one of these dark lines represents 10 squares. If we count this to see how many there are from here to here, we’ll find out that there’s 10 in here, there’s four over here and four over here. That makes 18 half cross-stitches that we need to do before we can come back and cross them.
We have begun with a little away knot and we’re going to leave a little thread on the back and the reason why is because we’re going to come back to this and we're going to thread this end into the needle and hide that little end into the back of the stitching it later. So let's start over here and we’re going to count over 18 half cross-stitches. We do the half cross stitch by starting in the lower left hand corner and coming up to the upper right hand corner of one of the little squares on the Aida cloth. That is your first half cross-stitch. That’s one, this is two, and so forth across the fabric until we have 18 of these.
It's important that all of the half cross-stitches go in one direction. What will happen is, when this piece is framed or mounted, the light catches the cross-stitches and if they’re across in different directions, the ones that are crossed backwards will show immediately. So make sure that all your half cross-stitches go in the same direction. I’m going to take a minute out here and finish this and then we’ll come back and I’ll show you how to cross them going the other direction.