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Top tips for easy stitching: part 2 - cracking on!

Welcome back to part 2 of my two part blog series - Top tips for easy stitching. In this series I want to give you the top tips that have helped me to enjoy cross stitching more than ever, as well as a top tip from the TSK Tribe! If you've not had a chance to check out tips 1-5, head to Part 1 now!

Let's dive right in!

6. Plan your route and travel the path of least. . .gaps

Instead of dragging the thread all the way across big gaps on the back of your fabric to get to the next stitches of that colour, thereby ending with lots of thread on the back that can get in the way and cause knotting, try planning your route to minimise this. Obviously sometimes there is no path and you have to take the jump - just keep this to a minimum! See second image in the slideshow below for the tidiest back you ever did see!

Note - the pattern I've completed above is completely random and just to for visualisation purposes!

7. colour as you go!

As you complete sections of stitches, or maybe as you finish a thread, colour in the full stitches you have completed on your pattern so you never lose your place and can pick up your project again quickly and easily. (Excuse the spider plant that's looking a bit sad, the cat's recently taken a liking to it!)

8. try a colour pattern!

All kits come with a black and white pattern as standard, however, while some people prefer black and white patterns for the reasons above, other people actually prefer a colour pattern. If that's you, or you just want to give it a try, send me a message with your order number or a picture of your kit and I will email you a PDF version of the colour pattern that you can print yourself if you wish. Alternatively, all our PDF pattern products come with both a black and white pattern AND a colour pattern as standard.

9. let it dangle!

Threads keep getting knotted after you've been stitching with one thread a little while? Let the thread and needle dangle down every few stitches and watch as gravity untwists the thread. It's the twistyness (not a word I know!) that develops as you're stitching that makes it knot!

10. Catch the thread!

When you've got as much out of your piece of thread as possible, instead of letting it dangle in the back which can cause knotting as your stitching later, or trying to force it under nearby stitches which can be really difficult, catch it with your next thread! To do that..

  1. 'Park' your thread by bringing it through to the front of you work just past the end of the current row you are stitching (picture 1). This will cause the left over thread to run along the back neatly (picture 2)

  2. Start your new thread with the loop method as normal (picture 2)

  3. Stitch along the row as normal. When you turn your work you to look at the back you will notice that the left over thread is neatly tucked under the new stitches! (picture 3)

Tips from the tribe!

As with last time I wanted to finish with a tip from the tribe. This week we have a tip from a very special member, maybe the first ever member as she was the person that got me into cross stitching and all things craft... my Gran, Marilyn!

"Once you start making mistakes that means you're too tired. So put down your project for the day and start again tomorrow with fresh eyes."

I've kind of paraphrased this from a memory of her telling me this as a kid. At the time it was about knitting, but it's a bit of advice I still follow no matter the craft!

(and yep that's me creeping in the background!)

I'd love to hear in the comments if these tips have been helpful!

Happy stitching!

J xx


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