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How To Cross-Stitch on Single Crochet


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A number of crocheters have written to ask me how to do cross-stitch on single crochet. So I put together this how-to, with photos, explaining the basics in detail.

Cross-stitch on a crocheted background is done basically the same way as traditional cross-stitch on aida cloth. You'll still be working within a square, using the holes at each corner of the square to make an X, thus forming each cross-stitch needed to complete the design.

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To start: Thread a length of yarn on a large-eye yarn needle. It generally works best to use the same weight of yarn, as you used to crochet the single crochet background.

Secure the yarn length: There are several ways to do this (No. 2 is faster but you may still prefer the first one).
Method 1. On the wrong side of the work, use the needle to pull the yarn behind the back part only of one stitch (so it won't show on the front of the piece), pulling it through just enough so that you will be leaving a length of yarn hanging beyond the knot, then make a knot around the back part of that same stitch. This secures the yarn length so it will not pull the end through your piece when you begin to do the cross-stitch. When you are finished doing cross-stitch with this length of yarn, weave in both the other end and this beginning end (weaving behind the cross-stitches on the back of the piece or weaving in behind only the back part of crochet stitches, in such a manner that it will not show on the front of the piece). This will secure these ends so that they will not unravel over time. Photo How-To on Weaving in Ends
Method 2. On the back (wrong side) of your crocheted piece, thread the yarn through a few inches of only the back part of the crochet stitches and pull the yarn length through until only the very end few inches of the yarn length is behind these crochet stitches. Next, wrap the needle around and pull yarn through just one part of the back of a stitch (make it into a knot, if your prefer that), to secure the yarn length so it will not pull the end through your piece when you begin to do the cross-stitch.

The example on the left shows a few cross-stitch X's worked on a single crochet background. You can also see a close-up of a single crochet stitch, with no cross-stitch worked on it. Notice that there is a hole in each corner of the single crochet stitch (think of it as a square, with four corners). The photos which follow show how to use these holes to make a cross-stitch X on single crochet.

Notice the red line on the photo, with an arrow indicating the direction in which your stitch will be made. With a length of yarn threaded onto a large-eye yarn needle, (first secure the yarn on the back of the piece, as detailed above), then hold the needle at the back (wrong side) of your crocheted piece. Insert the needle (from the back) through the bottom right-hand side hole of the crochet stitch in which you are making this X. Pull needle through to the front and pull all the yarn length through. Next, (from the front) insert the needle through the top left-hand side hole of this same crochet stitch (refer to photo). Pull needle through to the back and pull all the yarn length through.

Notice the red line on the photo, with an arrow indicating the direction in which your next stitch will be made. At this point you are holding the needle at the back (wrong side) of your crocheted piece. Insert the needle (from the back) through the top right-hand side hole of the crochet stitch in which you have already started making this X. Pull needle through to the front and pull all the yarn length through. Next, (from the front) insert the needle through the bottom left-hand side hole of this same crochet stitch (refer to photo). Pull needle through to the back and pull all the yarn length through.

That completes one cross-stitch. Repeat this for each cross-stitch that you are making.

Hint: Your piece will look best overall if you try to always do the first part of the X (which shows as the underneath part of the X) in the same direction (towards the left or towards the right). Then, of course, the second part of the X (which shows as the top of the X) is always consistent also. After you've finished a portion of the design, take a good look at it and you'll see how it looks best to keep the X's consistent.

When your piece is finished, you may wish to outline any portions of it which you wish to stand out. An outline stitch is simply a straight line, done along the outside edge of the single crochet stitch. Again, think of one single crochet stitch as a square, with a straight line being made along any of the four sides of that square. This photo shows outlining stitches, made in black yarn, with a red line indicating the length of one outline stitch along the top of one single crochet.

Copyright: I wrote these instructions from my own experience and created the images myself. These instructions and images are copyright 2002 by Sandi Marshall, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Terms of Use: These instructions and images are free for your own personal use only and are not be sold or redistributed (with or without charge) in any form (redistributing includes photocopies, emailing, posting to Bulletin Boards, posting on another web site, posting to an email list and any other manner of distribution).

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