a symbol followed by a 3 digit or 4 digit number then in parenthesis a number.  The number is the DMC Cotton Floss number. The symbol shows the symbol representing the DMC cotton floss number on our charts. The number in parenthesis is the number of skeins to complete the project.  We have shown one option for a stitched border. You can substitute the single DMC Floss color (on your chart) with the color of your choice.  This customization will add a professional finish to your stitched piece and integrate it into your home decor.


Some people have said that they are reluctant to start a counted cross stitch project because it looks complicated. That is not true and hopefully I can share with you how fantastic and enjoyable counted cross stitch is and explain how an Orenco Originals chart works.


So what is counted cross stitch and how does it differ from cross stitch?


Cross-stitch is a popular form of counted-thread embroidery in which X-shaped stitches in a tiled, raster-like pattern are used to form a picture. Counted Cross stitch is often sewn on easily countable evenweave fabric called Aida cloth. The stitcher counts the threads in each direction so that the stitches are of uniform size and appearance. All you are doing is transferring a design from paper on to fabric with different colored threads using cross stitch and counting the squares as you stitch. This form of cross-stitch is called counted cross-stitch in order to distinguish it from other forms of cross-stitch. With an Orenco Originals chart/ pattern you can buy the correct embroidery floss's and fabric and then sew to complete the picture shown.


Counted cross stitching is a relaxing hobby. Once you have completed a project you will  see how rewarding this hobby is. The most important thing is that you should enjoy yourself and with a few tips you can make this a stress free hobby.  The first thing that you should do is pick a spot to stitch that has good light.  If there is not good light you should augment the light so that you can clearly see not only your pattern but the weave of the cloth as well.  You also want to sit in a comfortable chair and try to sit upright to prevent back, eye and neck strain.  So lets get started:


Equipment:

Graph: This is the pattern or design you chose to stitch. There are thousands to choose from.

Orenco Originals Counted Cross Stitch Charts: If you purchase a chart it will have all the information but not the fabric or floss.  Purchased stand alone charts will provide you the fabric count.  If you change the fabric count it will change the size of your finished stitched design.


 Usually a chart will give the completed size of the design not the amount of fabric required. We recommend fabric that is at least 2 ( 4 is better) additional inches on each side. If a design is 4 x 4 inches you will need to purchase fabric measuring 8 x 8 inches as there needs to be 2 inches on all sides to allow for framing or mounting the finished piece.


 How to Read the Chart:


 The chart will be in the form of a grid with bold lines every 10 squares.

 Every square represents a hole in the fabric.

 A square with no symbol means no stitch is required.

 In the squares there will be symbols each symbol represents a color.


Carrying Your Thread


Sometimes a floss color will have only a few stitches and then you can run along the back of your project by “jumping" to another area of your picture.  Jumping from area to area is easier than starting and stopping, but sometimes the thread will show through. This can be a problem if you jump a dark thread over an unstitched area of light fabric. In general, you can carry the thread to another area if the jump is short, the floss color is light, and you are jumping over a previously stitched area.


Where to Start Stitching


You're finally ready to make that first stitch on a new piece of fabric. What's the right location in which to start? Start in the center of the cloth.


The design should be centered. Find the center of the fabric by folding it in half, then folding it in half the other way. Mark the center with a pin, a stitch, or some other method.

There are very few hard and fast rules for counted cross stitch embroidery, but one rule that must be followed is that all the stitches must lay in the same direction.


How to Start the Thread


Usually I prefer not to knot the thread. An exception might be made for a special case, such as an isolated stitch with no other stitches near it in the design.


  •     Knots can create lumps and bumps on the front when the picture is mounted.
  •     Floss can catch on knots while you are stitching.
  •     Knots can lead to uneven thread tension and distorted fabric.
  •     Knots can pop through to the front on a loosely woven fabric.
  •     Knots are harder to undo if you make a mistake.
  •     Knots make the back look messy. A good general rule is that a neat back means a better looking front.


So, what should you do? There are several methods listed below. Many people use more than one, depending on the circumstances.


Running Under


Run the thread under four or five of the stitches on the back, if they are right next to where you want to start. You may choose to whip stitch around the second or third stitch as you are running under. This helps to lock the thread in.






Sometimes dark colors show through when woven under lighter colors. Check to make sure this isn't happening.


A variation--if you stitch in a manner that leaves vertical lines on the back, try whip stitching or weaving the thread up (or down) a few of these vertical stitches. This technique makes for a very neat looking back.


​Instructional Video


For those who've never cross stitched before, or if you'd just like a review, please watch this helpful video.


A note about our Orenco Originals Charts:  If you look at the top of the single page chart and the first page of the enlarged multi paged chart you will see for example

Stitches and Techniques

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For the Artful Needleworker

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