Because the design you are working is small and the fabric is fused Aida, you will not need to work in a hoop.
Cut a length of thread not longer than 30cm. Remove the number of strands indicated on your chart (2 for 14 count and 3 for 11 count), thread them through the eye of your blunt tapestry needle and gently stroke the thread until it is flat. Knot the end of the thread.
The diagram below from DMC shows the waste knot method of beginning.
You will notice that your coloured chart pattern in your kit is made up of squares of different colours and your fabric is also made of woven squares. Each square on the chart represents a square on the fabric. The colours match the thread colours. On the other chart there is a different symbol for each thread colour. By following the charts you will know exactly where to make your stitch and which colour thread to use. With a little practice you will soon see your design grow and will not want to stop working!
Follow the detailed instructions in the kit on how to stitch or have a look at the useful DMC website for more helpful tips.
If you look at the back of your work most of your stitches should be vertical if you are doing cross stitch correctly. Don't worry too much if they are not all vertical it is the front of the work we will be looking at.
Look at the front of your work and check that all the top stitches of the cross stitch slant in the same direction.
End off a thread by weaving it through the back of your work.
Start a new thread by weaving it through a worked area on the back of your work and coming up through the beginning hole for the next stitch.
When you have completed all the cross stitching, you are ready to outline in back stitch using one thread only. This will add definition to your work. User a finer needle if you are finding it difficult to insert a needle through a hole already occupied by other thread.
If your work is a bit grubby, you can wash it by gently swishing it around in warm water to which you have added a little Sunlight Liquid dishwashing soap. Don’t wring out your work or you will distort your stitching. Make sure you have rinsed the fabric thoroughly and then gently pat dry between two towels. When still damp place work wrong side up on a thick towel, cover with ironing cloth or large handkerchief and iron until smooth. Don’t be too heavy handed with your iron and start by holding it slightly above your work. I find it best to move the iron as little as possible – lift it up and put it down. Keep checking to see how well you are progressing. When you are satisfied, place your work on a dry towel away from the sun and allow to dry completely before you frame it or make it into a useful object. We have lots of ideas for you in this regard.
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