"I love it, but its too big for the frame I have in mind."
How many times have you said that when looking at the size given for a new counted cross stitch design?
The fabric you stitch on determines the finished size of your project. Change the fabric count and the size of your picture also changes. Sounds simple, but how do you work it out?
The nifty cross stitch calculator below will take the stress out of it for you. There is a video demonstration further down the page, under the Cross Stitch Calculator itself.
We will take my art deco lady, Pearl, as our sample chart. The design is 115 stitches wide and 296 stitches high.
I worked the original on 14 count Aida, and the finished stitched area measured 8.2 inches by 21.1 inches.
You might not want quite such a big picture, so you decide to use the calculator to see how big she would end up if you used 18 count Aida instead. You know that the more fabric threads per inch, the more stitches you can squeeze in, and therefore the overall size will be smaller.
But how much smaller?
Enter the stitch count into the first two boxes.
Next, we will enter the fabric count. I still work in feet and inches, but if you are younger, you might prefer the metric measurements.
We want to test it on 18 fabric threads to the inch, so let's put that information into the calculator.
Now click the calculate button!
The tool presents the measurements in both inches and metric for you, as per the screenshot below.
If you decide this is too small, you could clear the form and try 16 count instead.
If you wish to use an evenweave fabric, you may need to do a minor calculation first.
Let’s say you want to use 28 count linen and want to work over 2 threads. Don't enter 28 as the fabric size, but divide the 28 by 2, as you will actually get 14 stitches to the inch.
The measurements given tell you the size of the stitched area. You will want to make sure your fabric is bigger than this to allow for framing. I am perhaps overly generous, but I like to leave 3 inches of blank fabric on each side. Therefore, I would add 6 inches to each of the measurements given in the calculator.
I hope you have found this useful when deciding on the fabric to use for your next project. Talking of which, have you checked out my downloadable cross stitch patterns yet?