What to look for in beginner cross stitch kits

Beginner cross stitch kits give you, or your child, an opportunity to try this form of needlework, without spending a fortune or taking forever to complete something.

If you find you enjoy it, you could have a hobby for life. If you discover it isn't for you, then you have wasted little time or money and can move on and try something different.

So what marks a kit as being suitable for beginners?

Not too big

Although a larger design may not be any more complex to stitch than a small one, the sheer volume of stitching required can be overwhelming. The sense of achievement when you complete a small project is what will have you eager to start the next.

You can mount your first projects in aperture cards and send them to family and friends for their birthdays or Christmas.


Distinct colors

If you choose a design with many close shades of embroidery floss then it's difficult to be certain you have picked the right color.

The manufacturer can make this easier if they provide the threads  pre-sorted on a card, but it is best to pick patterns with distinctly different colors for an early project.

Limited number of colors

If a design has lots of colors, you may be forever re-threading needles, instead of stitching. Look for beginner cross stitch kits that only use a few colors.

Designs with softly blended colors may appeal to you more than the flat cartoon style, but leave them for when you have a little more experience.

No fractional stitches

Some people hate fractional stitches, whereas others enjoy the challenge.

Many designers find it more difficult to design using only whole cross stitches, while still keeping the design size manageable. Quarter and three-quarter stitches can avoid the stair step appearance of a totally whole stitch pattern.

For your first projects, fractional stitches are perhaps best avoided, as they are more suited to the higher count evenweave fabrics.

Stick to Aida fabric

The block weave Aida fabrics are easiest to learn on. Some people find unstitched areas of Aida unattractive, but for beginners it is great, as the corner holes are easy to see.

Beginner cross stitch kits usually contain either 11 or 14 count Aida.

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