Suggestions for a Newbie!!

Tips, Tricks & Techniques - anything to help fellow cross stitchers.

Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by nettystitch » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:51 am

I have learnt and noted that after you hav finished your work for the night always take the hoop off the material and always roll it up with the picture in the inside so that it does not get dusty or dirty. :)
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by Cpleger » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:05 pm

Sorry I missed the suggestion about making a copy of the pattern! But, I guess as this is my first project, I can't be too mad at myself. I am learning a lot along the way, and you really need to do a project to fully understand what people are talking about, like why the stitches need to all go in the same direction, knots, counts, etc.

And as a newbie, all I can tell other newbies is to just DO IT! I was so afraid of the counted patterns and now that I have started, I cannot stop! Yeah, I made a few errors, but no one will know but me! And I have ordered several more larger patterns...some a bit start as gifts.

Thanks for all the great suggestions and help!
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by Ruggers » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:17 pm

As a newbie I have found this post SO helpful! Thanks everyone for their tips and tricks!!
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by karenstitches » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:27 pm

I'm taking notes as I read these posts!

Also, I use a highlighter to mark off what I've done on the chart. Otherwise I lose myself and get frustrated.

Don't forget that once you're comfortable wtih cross-stitch, 14 ct Aida isn't all there is. Explore other evenweaves, especially the higher counts. I'm stitching for the first time on 28 ct Monaco and swear I won't stitch on anything else ever again.

Explore the different ways to start a thread, and don't forget the loop method. It takes away having to deal wtih both a starting thread and a finishing thread.

Learn to frame your pieces yourself if you can. Cross stitch is a pretty inexpensive hobby, but not if you pay for professional framing of the finished piece (even tho' it's worth it).

Most importantly, enjoy stitching, even if you think it's slow-going. We Type As get hung up on progress, but that really isn't the point with stitching.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by EileenC » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:54 pm

Thank you all for such a great post - as a newish stitcher it's good to have all the info in one place. Will be back and forward to this post lots of times.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by sandyl » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:47 am

The best advice i ever got was when someone was watching me do a little project in a waiting room and i was struggling to knot my thread in the back. She said "give it to me and I will show you how to start a new color without knotting your thread." She took a single strand of thread folded it over put the first half cross in and pulled the thread through the loop on the back. No knotting and tying off ever again! I am sure everyone knows how to do this but it changed crosstitch for me and made it so much more enjoyable as I am terrible at knots. I also run my thread under a couple of stitches when finishing it off, instead of cutting and knotting.
I agree with not dragging your thread more than 4 or 5 holes as it shows underneath the fabric when it is done.
I never finish whole sections and then move on to the next. I always mark my center and then try to do a few rows around it to give me direction, but I get bored of colors and patterns, and tend to jump around all over my project. You can never tell what it is going to be until it is almost done. I might mark on my pattern in rows of 10 if it calls for the same color, because I get bored doing 30 stitches across of the same color. I try to keep it fun and interesting. Everyone finds what works for them.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by cougalacrafts » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:46 am

The one piece of advice I can give is never ever cross stitch if you have to force yourself to do it because that's when you will make mistakes. Wait until you are in a state where you want to do some cross stitch or just want something to do, not because you feel you have to get it finished or should be doing it.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by Echelstitcher » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:12 pm

I don't know if anyone said this yet but.. If you're tired put your cross stitch up for the night! I know some people are like "But I want to finish this last line!" or "BUT I'M SO CLOSE" but it's not a good idea. I learned that the hard way after messing up a simple frog I was trying to make >.< Also, just because you mess up it's not the end of the world. I messed up big time on my current project and after altering the pattern a little it looks fine. I'm still mad at myself for messing it up but no one else knows I messed it up besides you guys and I think it still looks decent. So enjoy your cross stitch and take your time :)
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by Lorna » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:35 pm

I am a newbie myself but in the short time I have been doing this I have found if I do some thing wrong and have to frog the stitches out I think of it as another part of the process and I don't get annoyed with myself and I find this helps.I hope you don.t mind a newbie adding to these notes.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by Rose » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:48 pm

All appropriate comments are welcomed and just because you are a newbie doesn't meant you can't pass on tips that may help to others!!!!!!
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by LittleMoo » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:20 pm

Thank you so much to everyone for all these tips. I class myself as a newbie, despite having been dabbling in cross stitch for over 20 years, because I've only ever completed 2 projects! I have about 5 unfinished and they just get put away and taken out every now and again.

I've caught the bug again recently and have just finished a Country Companions kit I started 18 years ago :oops: and have very nearly finished a small Cherished Teddies one for my Daughter. I'm also actively working on a birth sampler for my Sister-in-law.

I can't believe how long I've spent trying to separate floss strands before reading this thread. Soooo much easier now! The loop method is also new to me and has improved my stitching no end.

The only tip I can add is just an addition to one already mentioned. I too use highlighter to mark off my chart, but I always use yellow as I can then photocopy the chart afterwards (if I forget beforehand) and it will copy as though no colour has been used.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by Rose » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:16 am

This has recently come up and so I thought I would give some picture so that a newbie can get some help from this.


This is the strand as pulled from the floss to cut

This is the same strand separated into the 6 threads to be ready to stitch with
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by SunnyDay » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:20 pm

Wow! So many helpful tips that will likely help me stay ahead of the game as I haven't yet purchased my first project yet. I love the idea of the loop stitch idea for starting. One question I have is with the confetti stitches. If you shouldn't go more than a couple of spaces and there is only one stitch, how do you tie it off well so it doesn't come unraveled later on? I get the running the thread behind several stitches to secure it but what if there are no other stitches to secure it behind? I have to admit that the work unraveling is one of my greatest fears.

Thank you in advance for your help with this question and thank you so very much for all of the preceding advice.


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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by coolpenguin » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:44 pm

This is great! As a newbie, this is extremely beneficial.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by canadastorm » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:50 am

Try a hair pin to make the frame stay in position.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by JackieR » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:39 am

I learned a hell of a lot when doing my Madness project, some great tips from here and some I thought of myself. I hope they'll be useful :)

1. I always start a new colour with the looping method, it makes the back much neater.

2. Don't cut your strands too long as the thread will become twisted and more prone to knotting. I always cut a metre and fold it in half for the looping method.

3. Think ahead. Whenever I've got a spare 5 minutes, I'll look at the chart and work out how I'm going to stitch the next few colours.

4. I count with a marker needle from the end of my last stitch to the start of the next and leave the marker needle in that hole (assuming they're a few stitches away). I find this makes it easier to 'bury' the thread under previous stitches and come back up in the right place.

5. I check my chart after every 10 or so stitches to make sure I'm in the right place. It's much easier to correct mistakes early than later.

5. I highlight the stitches I'm about to do and study it for a minute to work out the best path. I then highlight with a different colour to mark off completed stitches.

6. Cut the excess thread very close to the fabric, makes it nice and neat.

7. I didn't take my hoop off every night but only when I needed to move it. That night, I would put my work on a hard surface and put heavy books on top of it to get rid of the hoop marks.

8. I sometimes found that the screw on the hoop caught on the fabric so I cut a bit of kitchen roll, folded it a few times and wrapped it round the screw and caught it in the frame to stop it catching.

9. I always buried thread from carried stitches on the back without exception, but obviously that's not always possible if you have unstitched areas.

These are ones that spring to mind. I hope I'm not teaching anyone to suck eggs. I think the most important thing is to find what works best for you and enjoy it. :)

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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by astackhouse87 » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:51 am

Just bought this awesome book: It looks like it's for stitchers of any level, whether it be a newbie or an old pro! Can't wait to get it in the mail and start practicing!
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by Heidi » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:49 pm

My little piece of advise to newbies is that if you make a mistake it is not the end of the world. Its a hobby its meant to be fun! I have wanted to give up many times because it was difficult or I kept making mistakes.

The most important think to remember;
Practice makes prefect, and have Fun!
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by foreveryoung811 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:47 pm

Thank you all so much for these brilliant ideas! I especially like the one about using a highlighter to check off what you have done, I probably spend half my time re-counting to find my place.
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Re: Suggestions for a Newbie!!

by Lozze » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:39 pm

I keep seeing references to frogging but not sure what it is?

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