This design is "100,000 Welcomes" in Gaelic - topped off with a knotwork border. Feel free to select your own thread and fabric colours - the chart is in green but you could use your favourite colour. The border is actually one long rope crossing over and under itself so you can stitch it in just one colour or follow the rope and use a variegated colour. You could also add shading at the intersections to show shadows where the ropes cross. The possibilities are endless - a bit like the knotwork!
Lindsay stitched this version in a subtle turquoise variegated thread.
Step 1: Measure how much you need (measure twice, cut only once is a really good rule to stick to) and make a small snip on the edge of your fabric where you want to cut.
Step 2: Ease the end of one thread free from the fabric. Pull on this thread a little until your fabric begins to gather, slide the gathers along the fabric away from you and keep pulling gently.
Step 3: Keep pulling on the thread and slide the gathers to the other side of your fabric. Don't worry if the thread snaps, you can just pull the end out again and carry on where you left off.
When you get to the end and the thread is pulled free, smooth out the gathers in the fabric by gently pulling it straight. You are left with a line where the thread is missing in your fabric which is really easy to follow and guaranteed to be straight.
Here's a close up of the line you can cut along
I hope this quick lesson helps those who are nervous about cutting their fabric to size - it works on any evenweave or linen.
So what's the difference between aida and evenweave?
Technically there's no difference, aida is a type of evenweave - meaning that it has the same number of threads in the warp (vertical) and weft (horizontal). Most cross stitch fabrics are evenweaves but there are a small number that are unevenweaves.
Aida is a blockweave, meaning that each square is made a group of threads - you can see that in this picture. Aida is sold in various counts indicating the number of blocks in an inch. The most common counts are 11ct, 14ct, 16ct, and 18ct. The higher the number, the smaller your stitches will be and the smaller your finished design will turn out.
This is 14ct aida in Soft Mocha from Wichelt.
And here's some stitching on aida were you can see how each stitch covers one square on the fabric.
Commonly known as evenweaves are the fabrics that aren't block weaves, the threads are not arranged in groups. Examples of evenweave fabrics are jobelan, lugana, brittney, davosa, murano, monaco. They are available in various counts, most commonly 20ct to 32ct, This denotes the number of threads per inch. Each stitch is usually formed over a grid of two threads square but more about that below.
This is Jobelan Lambswool 28ct from Wichelt.
And finally there is linen, also an evenweave but the difference here is the fibre used to make the fabric. Linen is made from flax, a natural plant fibre, and because of this it will have slubs or flaws in the fabric. Linen comes in various counts from 25ct to 50ct. Stitches are usually made over two threads on linen.
This is 28ct Natural Linen from Wichelt - you can clearly see the slubs in this picture.
Here's some stitching on an evenweave where you can see each stitch covers two threads vertically and two threads horizontally. This is known as stitching over two. You can see below the arrangement of the threads. Bring your needle up at 1, down at 2, up at 3 and down at 4 to complete the stitch.
The huge advantage to evenweave though is that you can stitch over one thread to make tiny stitches (sometimes known as petit point). The alphabet below is stitched over one thread.