Zen Stitching – cross stitching over 1

First an apology – my goal of one post a week got sidetracked sometime in September. I hope to do better going forward! Now, on to the stitch, cross stitching over 1 on linen or evenweave.

The first time I tried to stitch “over 1″ I thought how hard can this be? It’s just cross stitching over 1, same as on 14 ct. Aida, right? Wrong! When I stitched the way I always did, the working thread would slip behind the fabric thread and wouldn’t lock in place. Starting over a vertical thread doesn’t work, because every other thread is a horizontal thread that you have to stitch over anyway. And, sometimes even stitching over a vertical thread doesn’t work, if the vertical thread is under the horizontal thread. So how to solve this problem?

The answer is to switch the direction of the stitch. Take a look at the diagram below:

cross stitch over 1 a

Cross Stitch Over 1 – Beginning over a vertical thread

This stitch is beginning over a vertical thread on top of the horizontal thread, so the crossing stitch will stay in place. This one will not be a problem.

Cross stitch over 1 vertical stitch

The next example is when the vertical thread is under the horizontal thread. To lock the stitch in place, switch the direction of the top stitch:

Cross stitch over 1 vertical thread under the horizontal thread

If you are stitching in a row, you have just ended where the next stitch needs to begin. If you normally stitch from left to right (I do), it’s a dilemma because you want to have equal weight or pressure on each end of the stitch. If you address the problem by skipping ahead, and stitching every other stitch, there won’t be equal pressure on each end of the stitch. If you work a sample swatch, you’ll quickly see what I mean.

cross stitch over 1 skipping a stitch

The carry thread under the fabric will not lay neatly under the fabric, and will produce an uneven look in the finish. It requires a bit of thought, but once you have established the pattern it begins to go quickly if you will stitch as shown below:

cross stitch over 1 stitching in a row

In the example, the first stitch is over a vertical thread crossing on top of a horizontal thread. The next stitch is a horizontal thread over a vertical thread and begins the stitching pattern.  I know the arrows are distracting, but the rhythm of the stitch is quickly established and becomes quite natural. The results are pleasing with equal pressure on each end of the stitch, it’s a little more difficult to split the thread, and therefore easier to rip if needed.

Next time – back stitch.

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