Do You “Loop” When Starting a New Strand?

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Back in the day, when I was first learning cross stitch, the “loop starting” method was quite the controversy. Like many new ideas, this one got all tangled up in misinformation and the battle between tradition and change.

One I got the hang of starting a new strand with a loop, my stitching improved 100%. No longer was I struggling to find a good place to anchor my thread or trying to hold it in place while I completed a few stitches over the ‘tail’ on the back.

This method only works when you are stitching with an even number of strands. For the purpose of this instruction, let’s use an example of stitching with two strands.

Cut a single strand twice the length you normally use. Bring the two cut ends together and thread them into the needle, just as if you were threading it with two strands.

Thread the two cut ends into the eye of the needle.

Thread the two cut ends into the eye of the needle.

Now, bring your needle back-to-front in the place you want to begin your stitch. Only pull about half the length through to the back.

Bring the threaded needle from back-to-front and make your first half cross. Only pull about half of the floss through.

Bring the threaded needle from back-to-front and make your first half cross. Only pull about half of the floss through.

Flip the fabric over. You will see your threaded needle and a loop.

On the back, you will have your threaded needle and a loop.

On the back, you will have your threaded needle and a loop.

Slip your needle through the loop and gently pull it until it is snug.

Pull the floss through the loop until it is snug.

Pull the floss through the loop until it is snug.

Your thread is now anchored and you can continue stitching as you usually do.

My floss is anchored. I have completed two half cross stitches and am ready to stitch the next one.

My floss is anchored. I have completed two half cross stitches and am ready to stitch the next one.

The greatest benefit to this method is that you will have half as many places where you need to anchor a strand. It keeps the back neater. And, yes, the back does matter. But I’ll leave that topic for another day!

Now, go stitch!

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One Response to Do You “Loop” When Starting a New Strand?

  1. Pingback: Never Stop Learning! | Just One More Stitch

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