How to find the right cross stitch kit

Cross stitch kits and charts come in all shapes and sizes. Finding the right one can be the difference between loving your stitching or finding it while away in your WIPS pile for months on end. Here's how to find the right design!

Which cross stitch kit do I need?

Think about these things when you’re shopping for a cross stitch kit or chart…

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  • Size: Think about what size design you prefer to stitch and how much time you have. Anything over 130 squares wide is a large design.
  • Difficulty: look at the picture on the kit front to see what stitches are used and how frequently you will have to change colour.
  • Fabric: don’t try out too many new techniques in the same design – for example, stitching on evenweave, working on a dark fabric background, French knots or fractional stitches – unless you’re up for a challenge.
  • Chart style … is the chart filled in with blocks of colour, symbols or a combination of both? Colour charts can be hard to follow especially if the colours are different from the actual threads. Symbol charts can be enlarged on a photocopier.
  • Picture … it’s much easier to complete a design if you can see what it is going to look like from a photograph. Use it to check details and to identify colour shades.
  • Practicality … do you need a hoop or a frame to stitch your design? Some designs are so large that they have to be stretched out on a floor stand. Small designs are more portable.
  • Kit or chart? Cross stitch kits are great for beginners as all the supplies you need come included and you can open the kit and start stitching straight away. But if you’ve already built up quite a stash of spare fabric and threads, you might want to switch to buying charts instead. You’ll have more control over which fabric you stitch on to and can even adjust the thread shades to add a personalised touch if you want to.