Though a hobbyist only needs a few basic supplies to get started in cross stitching, other handy tools are available to aid the advanced cross stitcher. Whether you're just beginning a cross stitch hobby or are looking to expand your expertise, the right tools can help you produce beautiful cross stitch projects.
When cross stitching a pattern, you need cross stitch fabric, needles, floss and two pairs of scissors – one pair for cutting fabric, and a small pair for cutting floss. The beginner should choose light-colored fabric that is easier to work with. Dark fabric can cause even the advanced cross stitching hobbyist problems.
Cross stitch fabric comes in a wide variety, with Quaker cloth, Dublin linen, fiddler's cloth and canvas.
There are also different kinds of floss, including satin floss, cotton embroidery floss, rayon embroidery floss and metallic embroidery floss. The choice of the floss should depend on how much you need, the availability and the quality. Floss packets contain various colors, making them an excellent choice. When buying individual skeins, staying with one brand ensures good color results.
There are numerous types of cross stitch needles. Cross stitching is done with tapestry needles, such as those used for quilting, because they are blunt and will go through the holes properly. The needles used most frequently are size 24 for 11-count Aida fabric and size 26 for 14-count Aida fabric.
Cross stitch kits come in a large variety of patterns. Many beginners decide on a kit to make their first cross stitch because most of the supplies are included. With the kit, the novice only needs scissors and perhaps a hoop. The kits supply cloth, needle, chart and instructions. Some kits are more expensive and cost close to $100, but most kits cost around $20.
The advantage of a kit is that it supplies all of the items needed for a project. A counted cross stitch kit includes the design, cloth, thread, thread palette, needle, chart and instructions. It will tell the project's size and have a round, if needed.
A cross stitch hoop made of wood or plastic is good for smaller beginner projects. When you move on to harder and larger projects, a frame or bigger hoop is used. A ratchet needlework frame is adjustable, allowing tightening or loosening of the fabric.
Some other handy tools for cross stitching are Judy's Boo Boo Stick, which is useful when working with textured fibers or removing stitches, and the Puffin Craft Stand Separator, which keeps strands of floss from getting tangled.
The Pako Floss Organizer has prongs to hook sorted floss over. You can arrange the colors of the current project so that the exact threads you need are right at hand. A floss bobbin winder makes winding the floss easier, and floss conditioner makes it easier to stitch with specialty floss.
A needle organizer helps keep needles organized; you can even keep them threaded with different colors of floss. The Pako Deluxe needle threader punches the floss through the needle's eye for you – no more squinting! And speaking of no more squinting, a cross stitch magnifier will aid you in looking at fabrics and patterns.