Quite simply, Wool-Cross is counted cross-stitch done with wool on a
canvas ground. You may know this technique as Berlin-work, popularized
at the turn of the last century or you may also know it as Victorian
cross-stitch. The technique is very simple, and the resulting needlework
is a very durable piece of stitching that is both pleasing to the eye
and functional, as it can be made into various items that will stand
up to the "wear and tear" of daily use.
makes Wool-Cross designs unique?
They are designed to be stitched using crewel weight (very fine) wool
on 10-count double-mesh canvas. The fine gauge of the wool makes it
possible to utilize a technique called tweeding or blending:
the use of two different colors of thread (wool) in the needle at once.
Extraordinary color effects and tremendous subtlety in shading can be
achieved through effective use of the technique. Is it difficult to
do? Not at all! True, it may take a bit more effort to stay organized,
and perhaps more attention may need be paid to the color code, which
can be lengthy. But, I think you'll agree upon completing a design using
this technique, that the results are well worth any extra time/effort
Why is there no color design on the canvas?
This is the "counted" aspect of Wool-Cross: the stitcher follows
a chart (pattern) instead of a design painted (or printed) directly
on the canvas. Each grid block represents a stitch, and each symbol
within each block indicates what wool color (or combination of colors)
should be used for each stitch. There is no guess-work involved with
charted designs: if the pattern is followed exactly, the resulting design
will be a copy of the original piece as the designer created it.
Why is the chart in black and white?
The chart is printed in black and white because color is not needed.
Each symbol indicates exactly what color (or combination of colors)
should be used for each stitch, thereby making the need for a chart
with colored blocks unnecessary. The black and white format also makes
it easier for a working (stitching aid) photocopy enlargement of the
chart to be made. Note: I grant the right to the owner
of the design to make a stitching-aid photocopy for your own use only,
which should be destroyed after use.
Do I need to use a stitching frame of some sort?
No, a frame is not necessary. Designs stitched using the basic cross-stitch
can be stitched "in hand" since this type of stitch causes
no distortion of the canvas. Nor is blocking of the finished piece needed.
do I begin?
Simply locate the center of the chart, and the corresponding center
of the canvas, and start stitching!