Cross stitch is one of the simplest forms of needlework, but can still be daunting to an inexperienced stitcher. Perhaps you are now becoming familiar with the basic concepts of stitching. Maybe you have even done a couple of projects and are starting to feel comfortable with the basic supplies of threads and fabric. Not all Cross Stitch accessories are viewed the same by stitchers. An example of this is a needle threader. Some might consider this as a nice-to-have tool but not essential. Other stitchers would be lost without this vital aid. It’s very much horses for courses with these items.
Having said all that, there are still a number of cross stitch accessories that all dedicated stitchers might want to use. We’ll take a look at several of these that we believe most stitchers need to keep among their stitching stash.
Should I Use a Hoop?
Hoops are very common cross stitch accessories. A standard stitching hoop is made of wood or plastic. They are widely available and generally inexpensive. A traditional rule of thumb seems to be stitch on linen “in your hand” and to stitch on aida using a hoop.
Most people who use hoops prefer the tautness of fabric that hoops provide. In fact, some people even favor lap stands and floor stands; this way, they can use both hands for stitching.
Some people never use hoops because they worry about leaving hoop marks and distorting existing stitches. They also complain that having to move the hoop as the stitching progresses can be quite a nuisance. However, it is a personal preference; you can try different methods until you find whatever suits you the best.
Using Lamps and Magnifiers
Common cross stitch accessories include lamps and magnifiers. Obviously, good lighting is essential to the final outcome of your project! And while it is best to use natural sunlight, we don’t want to be restricted to only stitching in the daytime. You can buy magnifiers that clip onto your neck or attach to your head.
If you find that magnifiers are not enough, try magnifying lamps. Many of them have different lenses for different magnification levels. A lot of stitchers find that they provide the perfect amount of lighting for their needs. However, be forewarned; many lamps are very costly.
Should I Frame My Cross Stitch?
You most certainly do not need to mount and place all your cross stitch projects in picture frames. In fact, it is probably more common to find needlework on blankets, clothing, and pillows than on the wall.
However, if you feel that certain projects need to be framed, take them to a shop you know you can trust. It will be costly, but the results are beautiful in the end. You can of course cut the cost of framing significantly by doing it yourself. While not for the faint-hearted, framing it yourself is very doable if you’re determined.
Magnetic Needle Minder
During a stitching session you’ll regularly need to let go of your needle for a short while. So where do you park it? At the side of your project, or perhaps in your lap, or somewhere else – all recipes for losing your needle, with the resulting painful outcome when you find it again. But a magnetic needle minder overcomes this problem. They’re inexpensive to buy, colorful, unobtrusive and ever so easy to make as well.
The important part of a needle minder (or needle holder) is the magnet because it’s the bit that holds your needle firmly in place. Being cheap and cheerful, there are a huge number of needle holders to buy wherever cross stitch accessories are available. And in just about every design imaginable too.
… Finally …
When it comes to cross stitch accessories, these are just few examples. As you begin to feel more comfortable with the art of cross stitch, you will discover the accessories and supplies that you simply cannot live without.
I hope you’ll consider sharing your experiences with us, in the comments section below. Whether they’re good or bad, I answer all comments left. So, if you’ve any cross stitch questions and/or or stories, please respond below or email me ([email protected]).
Love your stitching – love life!