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Learn How to Cross Stitch - How To Read A Cross Stitch Chart

Cross Stitch Designs are worked from charts and are called counted cross stitch. The charts and colour key is included in a cross stitch pattern.

Reading a Cross Stitch Chart

Reading a Cross Stitch Chart

Reading a cross stitch chart is relatively easy, once you know what you are looking at. All cross stitch charts are basically the same. Some use squares of color and some use symbols and others use both colors and symbols. Whatever method the artist uses to create your pattern, they can all be read the same way.

Let us have a look at the cross stitch chart below. You will see that there are symbols on a grid that make up your pattern. The symbols are placed on a graph paper to form the pattern. Each square on our chart, both occupied and unoccupied, represents one block of Aida see choosing your fabric. Each occupied square (a square with a symbol) represents one stitch.

The chart below is a black and white chart. Many cross stitch designs are in color and are much easier to follow for the beginner stitcher.

Cross stitch charts consist of whole square representing complete cross stitches, but you will see additional stitches added to some charts, three quarter cross stitches, french knots etc. These stitches will be labelled in the key or included in your chart.

On the Dunmani Design Chart we can see little black arrows pointing at something. These arrows if followed all directions with your finger end up in one center point. This point is the center of your design. It is always great to know where the center of the design is so that you are able to "center your design" in the middle of your fabric. Nothing is more frustrating than starting a design and finding out after hours of work you have miscalculated and there is more design left to cross stitch... but no more material. The arrows guide you to the middle of your design.

There will be instructions on each chart. Our example tells us to use 2 strands of floss on the cross stitch and one strand single thread on the backstitching.

Next our instructions have a color key . The color key tells us what symbol to use for which color. So if we look at the chart quickly we will see that in the hearts on our design we have the black square symbol that matches with the color red. Where ever we see that black square on our chart, we will make one cross stitch in red.

Traditionally cross stitchers begin to stitch from the middle of the chart and the middle of the fabric just to make sure that the design stitch is perfectly centered on the fabric. If you find this a bit confusing when you are stitching. Use your chart as a guide , start in the middle (where the invisible lines of the arrows meet dead center and count the squares to the top of the design. In this case we have 13 squares up and then you count over to the left edge of your design which is 14 squares to get to the first occupied square on the first line of stitches on your chart.

Take your cross stitch fabric and mark the middle with a small stitch or a pin and begin to count up 13 squares on your fabric and then over 14 squares to your left. This square is where you will begin your first heart.


Dunmani Designs

Charles Craft Aida Cloth 14 Count - Many Colors

Charles Craft Aida Cloth 14 Count - Many Colors

Linen Needlework Fabric 28 Count 14''x18'' - MANY COLORS

Linen Needlework Fabric 28 Count 14''x18'' - MANY COLORS

Packaged Linen Fabric 32 Count 20''x27''

Packaged Linen Fabric 32 Count 20''x27''

Aida Needlework Fabric  14''x18'' - MANY COLORS

Aida Needlework Fabric 14''x18'' - MANY COLORS

Aida Needlework Fabric 11 Count 14''x18''

Aida Needlework Fabric 11 Count 14''x18''


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