“All you need to get started is a needle, thread, fabric, pair of scissors, and an idea. The correct equipment enhances the needlework experience and makes stitching much easier.” Linda Wyszynski, The Complete Photo Guide to Needlework (2012) pg 9
Unlike 15 years before, nowadays cross stitching newbies can learn to do counted cross stitch by themselves in less than an hour. The video below is just one of the many tutorials you can easily find online.
Learn Counted Cross Stitch In Only 5 Minutes:
And it’s also quite easy to get wonderful charts online for free. Even fabric can be purchased online, and with wonderful varieties and colours to choose from.
The most suitable fabric for beginners (and which I still use) is Aida fabric, no smaller than 14-ct. When I first learned to cross stitch, I used a huge 8-ct Aida, but I think 11-ct Aida should be fine.
Cross stitch thread or floss is thicker than the normal embroidery or sewing thread. The most popular thread in Malaysia is DMC, but there are many other brands sold online such as Madeira, Anchor, Cosmos, etc.
But you could easily get a pack of floss (generic brand) from Daiso at a mere RM5-00. I have some at home, which I use for stitching felt projects, etc.
Due to the thickness of the thread, the best needles to use for cross stitching are tapestry needles. Unlike the ordinary sewing needles, they are thick with large eyes and blunt points and range in size from 18 (largest) to 28 (smallest). The large eyes are to allow thicker thread/floss to pass through and the blunt points are to prevent splitting the stitched thread and the fabric.
Next, a pair of scissors. Any ordinary scissors sharp enough to cut the thread and fabric is fine. As for the needle, I think it’s possible to get an ordinary needle that has a hole large enough for at least 3 strands of cotton thread to slip through, but the points wouldn’t be blunt.
For convenience sake, many cross stitchers prefer to get themselves counted cross stitch kits which usually include a pattern, pre-sorted thread/floss, a suitable fabric and needle. There are many kits sold online such as these cuties:
A note of caution : do read the fine print when you decide to purchase a kit, make sure it has all that you require such as needle, thread, fabric and pattern. The Hang On Kitty Kit above is 5 by 7 inches in size, and contains cotton thread, 14-count light blue Aida, needle, and easy instructions. While Girls Rule Kit is merely 3 inches in size, and includes 11 count white Aida, cotton thread, 3-Inch hoop, needle, and step by step instructions. Looking at the fabric size and finished size, this means the Girls Rules kit is much easier to do.
Craft Store in Tuaran
But if you are somewhere in Tuaran, Sabah, do visit Yeeton Enterprise. There you’ll find DMC thread, tapestry needles, Aida fabric and even marvellous kits.
Beside selling craft items such as ribbons, thread, fabric, etc, they also sell and service sewing machines.
There were lots of kits on the shelves and also hidden from view.
I was really impressed with their huge collection of kits and especially the 3-D cross stitch kits. This is the first time that I have came across 3-D cross stitch kit.
Here’s a map to Yeeton:
The owner, Ms Madeleine Yap, would be happy to assist you. 😀
– Precious Crafts