I’ve been so hooked (pardon the pun) on crochet recently, I’ve neglected the stitch and sew elements of my blog title. I’ve been pining for some cross stitch to do so, when I opened the June issue of Cross Stitcher Magazine and saw this…I knew this was going to be my next project!
Tunnocks Teacakes are a big hit at KSS HQ. Missy and I often treat ourselves to a box on a Friday afternoon, after school, snuggled up on the sofa watching a Disney movie.
I’m slightly daunted by the pattern, lots of differing shades of red and loads of fractional stitches. Plus, because I’m going to make a picture for my new kitchen (not a bag as suggested by the magazine) I’ve decided to take the plunge and try stitching on evenweave for the first time. Aside from being significantly cheaper than aida, evenweave has always scared me. I’m so used to 14 count aida and the purpose built holes and squares, I had no idea how to even begin counting out my counted cross stitch on evenweave.
As usual I turned to You Tube to give me some guidance on how to start my evenweave project. I found some great little tutorials from The World of Cross Stitch magazine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PceviKJHoIY. I decided not to stitch across the entire fabric in blocks of ten but rely on my 20:20 vision and some daylight to help me count the teeny, tiny squares…easier said than done.
It took me a little while to actually ‘see’ the squares, the film kept talking about ‘stitching over two threads’ which made no sense to me at all. Staring at the blank white rectangle of fabric, this made no sense to me, I couldn’t even see ‘two’! In the end I worked out, I need to look for a little square made up of nine tiny holes. I’m working on 28 count evenweave, so nine little holes making up one cross stitch square…
I’ve marked the squares in red, so the larger square showing a full cross stitch and the smaller one showing where the fractional stitches would be.
This is my progress so far after two evenings happy stitching.
So far so good, my beginners top tips for stitching on evenweave are…
1. LIGHT! I can’t over state this enough. A stream of natural daylight is the best to help see the little holes and to ensure all your stitches are neat and even. I found that stitching in the evening (which is what i’d normally do) with lampshades and main lights on, cast too many shadows on my work meaning I was squinting and making mistakes.
2. Use a hoop. I don’t always use an embroidery hoop when cross stitching on aida. The fabric is so stiff it holds its shape nicely and I find a hoop gets in the way as you try to manipulate the fabric. However, with evenweave, a hoop helps to keep the fabric taught and the little squares all in one place without being stretched or pulled out of shape
3. A sharp needle. Again, being used to aida, I never really paid attention to my needle. As long as I could thread it, I used it! With evenweave, a sharp needle of appropriate size it vital. I obviously wasn’t paying that much attention however, as I can’t remember what size i’m using!
4. Think about how you hold the fabric. I sit on the sofa when I stitch – well more like curl up on the sofa, so I’m used to grabbing the fabric pretty much anyway that works. For this project I’ve found that sitting up straight and popping my work up on a cushion, allows me to have both hands free to handle the needle and thread, pulling the needle in and out steadily, ensuring I’m stitching in the right holes.
5. Take your time. Stitching on evenweave is not a quick process. I think this project will take me ages! Aida stitching is very quick and easy, with no need to think really apart from counting. I’ve found evenweave requires a much steadier, methodical attitude, constant checking back and looking at your work as it takes shape, checking against the pattern and consequently, is taking me longer to work.
So, thats it for now. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Think I’m going to be in for the long haul!
Do you have any tips to share about stitching on evenweave? What projects are you stitching at the moment?