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What is Wool-Cross?
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.

What 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 invested.

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.

How do I begin?
Simply locate the center of the chart, and the corresponding center of the canvas, and start stitching!



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