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Modern cross stitch depends on itīs intricacy and shading for itīs impact, however it can always be fun to experiment in the stitches you use for different effects.
There are a number of different crossed stitches - other than the classical cross stitch - and I will show a brief description of a few of these.
1. Long Armed Cross Stitch
This is a great stitch - and was the one originally used for Assissi Work. It gives a really good coverage and a very nice finish to the work.
Each Stitch is worked is worked as a whole - rather than in the manner of the usual cross stitch where a row is done and then gone back over to create the whole stitch.
Shown below is the method of working Long Armed Cross Stitch.
As you can see, the first stitch is done over a double thread, and the second is over the normal used. You can see that this will give a woven effect to the finished work and it is very hard wearing.
2. Double Cross Stitch
A very good stitch that can be used either for outlines or for solid fillings and backgrounds. As you can see from the diagram below, it is a normal cross stitch, with an upright cross on top of it.
Again - this stitch is also done as a whole before you go onto the next stitch.
3. Crossed Corner - or Rice Stitch
Here, we use a double sized cross stitch, with a small stitch over each arm - hereīs a diagram
You can work the large crosses first, and then go over each arm. You will have to be careful that you make sure that you make the initial cross double size.
4. Two-sided Italian Cross Stitch
This is a very old stitch, and is sometimes used in Assissi work, together with the Long Armed Cross Stitch. It can be worked by 2 methods, and the diagram below shows both.
If you use method B - it will be fully reversible, and consists of a cross enclosed in 4 straight stitches. You work the stitch in this method in 2 journeys across the fabric - from left to right and back again.
The first journey consists of making the first 3 stitches as per Method A - so you work the the 2 straight sides, and the first half of the cross.
The journey back finishes the cross off.
Please note: unless you do this stitch in the way shown and explained, it will not be reversible.
Method A produces a non-reversable stitch, and each complete stitch is done before moving onto the next (use steps 1-4 of "A").
All of these stitches can be found in Historical pieces of embroidery - most particularly in samplers.
Why not try - with the composite stitches - doing them in different colours - or shades of the same colour.
Imagine doing a brick wall using Italian Cross Stitch - it would give texture to the bricks that is not there with normal cross stitch.
Or instead of using beads using Double Cross stitch - with the upright cross done using blending filament, or metal thread to give a gleam.
If your piece has a background that is a block of colour, why not use Long Armed Cross stitch - or Rice Stitch for it - to give a touch of texture and interest.
A good place to start your experiments would be to begin your own "sampler" where you try stitches and effects out before beginning your piece.
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