What is counted cross stitch?
Counted cross stitch is when the pattern is not printed on the fabric - instead a separate paper (or digital) chart is provided and the aida fabric (cross stitch fabric) is blank so that you correlate the chart to the fabric by counting, using the blocks on the chart and the structure of the fabric.
The pictures below show an example of part of a cross stitch chart and then the pattern stitched on to fabric.
What is Aida fabric?
Aida cloth is the most common type of fabric used for cross stitch. It is an open, evenly-woven fabric, with the weave of the fabric creating a natural grid, allowing you to correlate areas of the fabric to areas of the pattern by counting the weave and the corresponding blocks on the chart.
The fabric in the photograph below and also the stitched photo above are examples of aida fabric.
What does the fabric count mean?
The fabric count refers to the number of holes/squares of the fabric per inch. For example 11 count aida has 11 holes per inch and 14 count aida has 14 holes per inch. The higher the count of the aida, the more holes per inch there are and therefore the smaller the stitches will be and the finer the work.
All of our kits include 14 count aida fabric. This is probably the most common fabric count and is a good place to start for beginners as it is not too small, but small enough to allow some detail into the pattern and a finished product you can be proud of.
Below is an example of 14 count aida fabric.
How many strands of thread should I use?
The pattern should always tell you how many strands of thread to use. The majority of the stitches in our patterns are 2-stranded but there are exceptions that will be stated on the pattern. The embroidery thread provided in our kits consists of 6 strands so the strands will need separating out.
For 2-stranded stitches, you will need two strands of thread to stitch with unless you are doubling up the thread when you start (using the loop starting method) - this will double up the strands of thread in your stitches so if your stitches should be 2-stranded, you should start off with one strand that will then be folded over to make two.
What is included in your kits?
The vast majority of our kits include 14-count aida fabric, DMC embroidery threads, a size 24 tapestry/cross stitch needle, a hoop, full instructions and the pattern.
Check the product descriptions of individual listings for further details or for any variations.
Can I buy just the pattern?
For those who have their own supplies, most of our kits are available as instantly downloadable PDF patterns in our Etsy shop. Some newer patterns may not be available yet but if you can't find the pattern you're looking for contact us and we will do our best to help.
Are your kits suitable for beginners?
Yes our kits are very beginner-friendly. Most of our patterns are very straight forward and easy to follow and our kits include full instructions with diagrams.
Are your kits suitable for children?
We recommend adult supervision but have had lots of positive feedback where children have learnt to cross stitch using these kits. We do not recommend for under 7's and it is dependent on the age, ability and temperament of the child (and also how much help you can give them!). Overall they are fun and colourful kits that many children will love doing.
Bear in mind the stitches are fairly small - imagine an inch divided into 14 to get an idea of the stitch size. I only mention this because the scale is difficult to convey in photographs and don't want customers to have the wrong expectations regarding size. Also check the hoop size for an idea of how big the kit will be.
What if I run out of thread?
If you have any problems please contact us and we will be happy to help.
Do I need any extra equipment or materials to complete this kit?
Our kits contain everything required, except you will need a pair of scissors or a thread cutting tool to trim your thread and keep things tidy. You may also wish to use a needle threader to help you over that first hurdle - we stock a range of crafting accessories in our Craft Supplies section including scissors, needle threaders, hoops, felt (for backing hoops) and fabric.
Do you ship worldwide?
Yes we do ship worldwide (subject to rule changes but we do whenever possible). If you are based in the EU, you may prefer to purchase from our Etsy or Amazon shop to avoid any charges when your package arrives (online marketplaces will charge any taxes at checkout and you will avoid any extra admin fees).
How long will my order take to arrive?
We usually ship orders the same day or the next working day and always within 2 working days. In the UK, if you choose first class postage, it should arrive within 1-2 working days from dispatch and second class within 2-3 working days. Orders to the US usually take about 10 working days but this can vary. Also be prepared for delays at busy times of the year and also due to the ongoing Coronavirus situation.
Please contact us if you have any specific queries.