The following questions are those we have encountered over the years from
customers both in the store and at shows. They are in no particular order.

If you have a question not answered below please email us at

Q: Is there a right and a wrong side to my fabric?
A: I can only comment on Zweigart fabrics and canvases, as that is the only line we carry. Zweigart fabric is yarn dyed and not piece dyed, meaning the fibers are dyed before they are woven, making the fabric solid in colour. You will never see white patches in between the colour as you may with piece dying. Zweigart fabrics are also woven identically in both the warp and weft, making both sides undistinguishable. I do suggest that you look at both sides carefully especially with linens as there may be more nubs on one side over the other, and simply choose the side you prefer.
Q: When stitching on linen where should I start?
A: Whether you like to start in the center, the top middle or from a corner, the secret to linen stitching is the vertical thread.
A vertical thread runs up and down over the horizontal thread running side to side. It is a good habit to begin stitching below and to the left of a thread crossing where the vertical thread runs over the horizontal thread.
There are three reasons as to why this is a good starting point:
1) these holes are larger and therefore easier to find
2) the vertical threads will support your stitch, making it neater looking, and
3) you can tell if you have miscounted when your needle is not by a vertical thread.
Q: Why do I have to use the continental/tent stitch when petit pointing as opposed to the half cross stitch?
A: The continental stitch and the half cross look the same from the front, yet it is at the back that they differ. When cross-stitching it is your fabric which has body and your stitches are laid in place. Silk gauze in comparison has no body, and it is your stitching which creates the body of the design. A half cross on silk gauze looks as if you have whipped the floss around the gauze fiber, and there will be a row of holes between your rows of stitches. The continental stitch builds body and your stitches will appear as a solid mass. If you are unfamiliar with the continental stitch please see our Petit Point Instructions.
Q: How can I and should I convert a colour guide?
A: Most cross-stitch designs list both a DMC and Anchor colour for each symbol. There are however designs which combine both DMC and Anchor, such as petit point designs. If this is the case follow the conversion charts we have listed under Free Stuff. For cotton floss see our Conversion Charts for Anchor to DMC floss. However, please be careful, not all conversions are exact matches. Conversion charts are only guides to suggest the closest colour from the other brand. Lay out all the converted colours before stitching to see how all the colours look together. If one or two don't fit into their colour family just keep the original. It will not affect the look of your finished piece if Anchor & DMC are mixed. Remember, the colours listed are the ones the designer intended.
Q: Which cross stitch charts can be petit pointed?
A: Because of the nature of the petit point stitch, designs for petit point must be composed of full stitches. There are some cross-stitch designs which can be petit pointed. To name a few, Lavender & Lace, Butternut Road, some Told-in-the-Garden, Ross Originals, Marty Bell cottages, Barbara & Cheryl, Lanarte, and some Mirabilia. I realize these designs do have the odd 1/4 stitch and some backstitching. When petit pointing these designs, stitch all the full stitches first and leave the 1/4 stitches out. Then go back over the stitched piece to where the 1/4 stitches should be and decide whether the design would look better with a full stitch filled in or left out. If two 1/4 stitches of different colours make up a chart square then decide which colour should be stitched.
    With regards to backstitching; just carefully follow the chart and stitch in place using 1 strand.
    With regards to beads; if they are scattered over the design there is no need for you to substitute them, stitch as pattern dictates. If they are densely grouped then either replace them with the same coloured petite beads, or fill with a petit point stitch using Kreinik's metallic #4 braid (for 23ct petit point).
Not all cross-stitch designs can be petit pointed, but all petit point designs can be cross-stitched.
Q: How do I know how big a fabric piece I need for a specific design?
A: When determining the fabric size needed for a specific design follow these calculations:
    Divide both the height and width stitch count of your design by the stitch count of your fabric (the number of stitches per inch of fabric). For example, if wanting to stitch on 14 count aida divide the stitch count of your design by 14. If you are intending to stitch on linen or eavenweave fabric such as Lugana 25 count you will divide your design stitch count by either 12 1/2 stitches per inch if stitching over 2 fabric threads (25 divided by 2) or by 25 if wanting to stitch over one fabric thread. This measurement will be the finished size of your stitching in inches. You will now have to add 6" to both measurements (creating a 3" edging all around your design) to determine the size of fabric you will be cutting. If you like more of a border feel free to cut a larger piece of fabric, but never cut a piece with anything smaller than a 2" border.
Q: How do I read the Lanarte symbol-colour guide and colour key?
A: Lanarte has a very creative and unique method of displaying their symbol-colour guide. When looking at the table, each column identifies a different stitch ( cross stitch, backstitch, or french knots). These columns are then further divided into 2 columns, each of these indicating whether to use 1 strand of DMC floss (1/6) or 2 strands (2/6). When scanning the symbols in each column, move along the row to the left for a particular symbol and under the English column there will be a description of the colour and in the far left column the DMC number is listed for that symbol.
    Also please note if the threads in your kits are bundled, the first thing you need to do when opening your Lanarte kit is to separate and label each thread on your "project card". Identify which floss bundle corresponds to each bundle grouping on the symbol-colour guide. Do this by finding a distinct colour in one bundle which does not appear in any other bundle. For example black.

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