How to transform counted cross-stitch pattern into a printed one?
April 4, 2024 9:39 AM   Subscribe

I bought a beautiful Crosstitch pattern which I did not realize was counted rather than printed. How can I transfer the pattern to the cloth in such a manner that I do not have to count when I actually do the stitching?

The cloth is 14-ct Aida. It is 16 by 16 inches. The finished design is supposed to be 12 x 12 inches and look like this:

I I thought I might photocopy the original model onto a printable self adhesive stabilizer, apply it to the cloth, then colour in the pattern with washable markers. But...
If I photocopy the original pattern and apply it to the cloth, it goes to the very edges of the cloth.
Or I can reduce the photocopy to 80%, which would give me a 12 by 12 result.
Here is a photo:

Is this actually doable? I have a feeling I am completely misjudging this. Is there another way entirely?
posted by uans to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would mark the sections with lead pencil or washable pens, then you only have to count once.
posted by muddgirl at 9:46 AM on April 4

Response by poster: I''m sorry, I'm not sure what you mean?
posted by uans at 9:49 AM on April 4

People grid their cross stitch cloth - like you draw a cross at the center of the cloth then a line every ten blocks horizontally and vertically. Most people use washable fabric marker or pencil, some people thread a running stitch in brightly coloured thread that gets pulled out afterwards. Or you buy pre-gridded Aida where the grid washes out.

Gridding opens up a whole new world of counted cross stitch!
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:59 AM on April 4 [4 favorites]

I think the chances that you’ll get the paper stitches to match up to the lines in the fabric are low, for a variety of reasons. I’d echo the advice to draw a grid. Your pattern looks like it has big swaths of similar colours often outlined in black, so if you place those black stitches first it may end up almost as enjoyable as the printed patterns.
posted by warriorqueen at 10:06 AM on April 4 [8 favorites]

FWIW, as someone who is not very good at counting (despite the PhD in combinatorics), I don't find counted cross stitch meaningfully more difficult than needlepoint (where I end up having to reference the chart anyway). The beginning is rough, but the sort large swathes of color like you have are easy--annoying counting to get to the right starting place but then you shift by one each row or whatever. So if your reticence is around fear of counting (rather than knowing you hate counted cross stitch), I'd just go for it.
posted by hoyland at 5:57 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]

I think the lines are too thin and geometric for this to work great; it’d be different if it was fluffy clouds, but the precise geometry is part of the charm of this particular pattern. If you were slightly off you’d have sections alternating between zero, one, and two squares wide. I don’t know how best to transfer the pattern but I’d encourage you to think through the dark lines carefully as you work them, in particular.

I’ve actually done a very similar pattern—is this a Frank Lloyd Wright magazine cover? In any case, I found the counting a lot less onerous than for more natural scenes. I split the work up into distinct “brain” and “no brain” sections by outlining a large section (brain) or doing small fiddly sections (brain) or filling in wide swathes of empty space (no brain). I also arranged things into 10x10 unit squares which helped keep things aligned very well.
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:08 PM on April 4

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