5 Tips for Choosing Your First Cross Stitch Supplies

Cross stitch

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Gathering cross stitch supplies for your first project can be overwhelming. There are so many supplies and products to choose from. In the beginning, many cross-stitchers start with pre-made kits. Even though a kit may have many of the things that a beginner needs, it is good to have supplies ready to go and in a basket in case you need something.  While kits are great, you might want to try your hand at an independent pattern. Below are five tips that will help you choose the right product for your project. 

Choose a light colored 14 count cross stitch specific fabric.

Since you are still developing your Cross Stitch skills, it is best to stay away from dark colors. Many experienced cross stitchers have difficulty with them. Choose rolled Aida fabric instead of fabric that is folded flat which may have developed difficult-to-remove creases. Fourteen count is a common size fabric. It is used for many projects. Make sure the pattern you purchase is using 14 count. Once you become more skilled, you can adjust the pattern to fit any fabric. 

Choose floss based on the quality, need, and availability.

Floss packets are a good first choice because they contain a selection of commonly used colors. If you choose to start building your floss collection by purchasing individual skeins of floss, stick to one brand. Conversion charts are available, but mixing subtle shades from different brands of floss may not produce the best results. Again, having more floss is better than coming up short. You can always use the leftovers for another project.

DMC and Anchor are great flosses to start your cross stitch projects with and they offer variety packs of their most popular colors. Make sure that you are on the lookout for floss sales at your local needlework store. Stock up on common colors such as black, white and reds. If you use a noncolorfast floss, be careful with washing the finished project as the dye may run. 

A pack of needles is necessary.

Obviously, you can't stitch without a needle. There are so many different types of needles on the market. Needles with special coatings, twin-tipped needles, easy-thread needles. It is hard to decide which one is the right one for your project. When you begin cross stitching it is wise to use a size 24 tapestry needle for 11-count Aida fabric and a size 26 needle for 14-count Aida fabric.

As you become an accomplished cross-stitcher, you can try out the many different types of needles and see the way the needle pulls the fabric and showcases different finishes. You may not think that a good needle is necessary. It helps keep the fabric in shape. A bigger needle with smaller fabric will stretch and distort your project. It is very important to keep the fabric in shape and the right cross stitch needle with help with that. 

Two pairs of scissors are essential.

The first pair is dedicated to cutting fabric. Do not cut anything but fabric with these scissors. You can get a good pair for less than twenty dollars. The second pair is a smaller pair for cutting floss. These scissors should be sharp enough to cut the floss without fraying it. Dollar and discount stores are a great source of inexpensive, sharp scissors. After you become more familiar with cross stitch projects, you can invest in a high-end pair of scissors. 

Start out with a plastic hoop or Q-Snap.

Hoops come in a wide variety of sizes. Depending on your project, starting with a medium to large hoop will help you get a feel for how your hand will react to holding a hoop. Many cross stitchers begin with Q-Snaps. They are a square framed fabric holder. Their wide frame is beneficial in limiting hand cramping. The only downfall to Q-Snaps is that they do not come in as wide of a range in size as hoops do. Plastic hoops offer more security to the fabric than a wood hoop does so save the wood hoops for framing.