Cross stitching is a fun, creative outlet, and it's a good way to make gifts or home decorations. It's also easy to learn and requires just a few basic supplies, costing from $40 to $100 in total. Starting with a kit is the less costly way because all of the supplies are included in it. A crafter can start with a minimal investment and then buy more expensive tools and go to workshops as they advance.
Cross stitch books range from $5 to $50. Some include videos or DVDs. Classes and workshops run from $10 to $100.
The basic supplies needed for cross stitching are cloth, stranded cotton or a floss skein, a tapestry needle and a pattern. As the beginner advances, other tools can be useful, such as the ratchet needlework frame or the all-purpose magnifier.
First, the edge of the fabric has to be prevented from unraveling by taping, hand stitching or machine zigzagging. Finishing a thread length is done by stitching the spot several times and cutting the thread next to the fabric.
The five basic stitches used in cross stitching are the cross stitch, the half stitch, the quarter stitch, the three-quarter stitch and the backstitch. The two basic kinds of cross stitching are counted cross stitch and stamped cross stitch. Counted cross stitch uses design that is transferred to evenweave fabric such as Aida cloth or linen. The person stitching follows the symbols on the chart to stitch the pattern with embroidery floss. The various colors of floss used for a pattern are represented by different symbols. Each symbol is one stitch. The advantage here is that there are thousands of designs to choose from.
Stamped cross stitch items are made from a kit. The pattern is stamped onto the fabric. Typically, these projects are pillowcases, tablecloths, bedspreads and similar things. Obviously, the advantage here is that the design is transferred to the fabric already, so you can just cross stitch.
Many cross stitch patterns are supplied for free on the Internet. Some examples of popular cross stitch patterns are: hummingbirds, dolphins, fish, bluebird alphabet, floral designs, religious and other designs. Some designs, like bunnies and teddy bears, are for especially for children.