Cross Stitches

Cross stitch is so popular that it has developed into a separate branch of needlework using fabrics that are attractive enough to leave areas unstitched and silk or cotton yarn. But it is still a popular stitch for needlepoint because it is so hardwearing.

 

Victorian Cross Stitch


Victorian cross stitch, or just cross stitch, is one of the oldest decorative stitches known dating back to at least the thirteenth century. It is very hard wearing so is the usual stitch used for making needlepoint rugs and for church kneelers. There are two ways of working the stitch but both produce the same stitch on the front of the piece. The key is to ensure that the upper stitches are all worked in the same direction to give a neat appearence, unless you deliberately want to vary them for a particular effect.

View from the front of the piece
The first method involves completing each stitch before moving on to the next. In this method alternate rows are worked right to left and then left to right.

Stitching one stitch at a time - view from the front of the piece

Stitching one stitch at a time - view from the reverse of the piece
The second method involves stitching a line of half cross stitch and then reversing and stitching a second line over the top. In this method all rows are worked in both directions in the same way. This method has two advantages, it is less easy to make a mistake and get stitches lying in the wrong direction and the stitches are completely symmetrical so there is no distortion of the canvas..

Stitching one stitch at a time - view from the front of the piece


Stitching one stitch at a time - view from the reverse of the piece

Smyrna Stitch

Smyrna stitch was popular during the Victorian period and again, later, in the 1950's and 1960's. It comprises a cross stitch worked over two, or more, threads with a straight cross stitch worked over the top. Take care to make sure all the stitches making it up are worked in the correct order every time.

 

It can be worked with alternate complete stitches in different colours to give a chequerboard effect or with the straight cross stitch on to in a different colour to the base stitch.

View fron the front of the piece

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