Cross Stitch Cufflinks

As the Lord of cross stitch, its no wonder I wear cufflinks, but I feel all the manbroiderers and partners of cross stitchers should hold up the flag more often! Cufflinks are a great way to do this, but also pose quite a challenge to make in themselves.

The first pair featuring characters from the Cave Story video game, are fantastic examples of super tiny cross stitching; these are 42 count! By Benjibot
cave story cross stitch cufflinks by benjibot
Alternatively you could lower the count and make something like these awesome Just Dance cross stitch cufflinks to show off that you can break into spontanious dance moves as soon as the suit is off.

If video games aren’t your thing, you can always use them to monogram your shirts on the cheap. These linen based cross stitch cufflinks ooze class.

Or, if you want hard wearing, how about resin filling a pair, like these from craftster?
pacman cross stitch cufflinks

8 Cross Stitch Must Haves

Following on from our post a few weeks ago about the best cross stitch frame I’ve had a load of discussions on the best tools for cross stitch. So here are my suggestions for the 8 cross stitch must haves every stitcher should have!

1 – Thread Shade Chart

We have a copy of the DMC shade card on our site to see at any time, however there is nothing quite like a real chart, with thread samples. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve checked a color and found it was too red, or too green and so changed it for a better one. Whilst a lot of cross stitch pattern software does a great job, there’s nothing quite like the human eye.
They cost about $20 for one with thread samples, and are definitely the one thing I would suggest EVERY stitcher gets.
DMC thread card

2 – All The Threads!

Full set of DMC threads
The only thing better than owning a thread shade card is owning the threads themselves. I always kept using the threads I had on hand, and until I got the whole set, I didn’t realise just how much I was making compromise; my colors have definitely got better. You can see how much a full set of DMC threads has helped us with our blog post about our journey to a complete set of cross stitch threads.
Not the cheapest thing in the world, wait until you can buy a whole set in one go on an offer. The price can drop from $450 to $200. Just don’t be tempted by those cheap Chinese deals to see on ebay.

3 – Thread Cutterz

thread cutterz
We recently posted about taking cross stitch on planes and public transport, and loved the thread cutterz for their ability to take them on international flights, however they’re just damn handy anyway. Far easier than scissors, they can be the quick cut you need.
They retail for $12-$15 but can only be brought from ThreadCutterz themselves.

4 – Great Cross Stitch Software

pcstitch cross stitch software
Sure, cross stitch pattern software isn’t a glamorous item, and doesn’t seem like a must have item, however if you use a free online one, or work patterns out on paper, you REALLY need to update it. And if you’re struggling through, its probably time to update to a better one. We have a super post on which is the best cross stitch pattern software, and they can vary in price from free to $200.

5 – Funny Needle Keeps

charizard needle keeper
No one NEEDS a needle minder, but if you have all the right tools, sometimes you need a little fun. Needle keepers just hold you needle whilst you’re not stitching, so you want a light weight one. Most are magnetic, and you can get some really great ones. The image for example is a 3D printed charizard for $6, which is about the going rate.

6 – Magazine Subscriptions

cross stitcher magazine cover
Magazines are fantastic for both giving you patterns, giving you inspiration, finding out about all the new products, and reading up on all the happenings of the cross stitch community. There are frankly a shocking amount out there, so its best to pick one or two you like the most, and getting a subscription to those. Prices vary, $20-$60 a year.

7 – The Perfect Frame


There’s nothing worse in cross stitch than Repetitive Strain Injury. It normally happens as a result of having to hold frames, so its no wonder that one of the best things you can get is a good frame. They vary in price from $2 to $30 depending on a lot of factors. We’ve made a post about the perfect cross stitch frame to help you pick.

8 – A Good Pair Of Scissors

cross stitch scissors
I personally use a pair of Fiskars scissors, but I know many people prefer snip style scissors like the image, however there is one thing everyone agrees on, and that’s that some scissors just fit your hand better than others. As a cross stitcher you’re going to spend a lot of time with your hands in a pair, so make sure they’re the best ones for you. I would suggest specific thread or fishing line scissors, as they are sharper and have a small “snip” area. Also make sure to only use them for thread; scissors get blunt really easily.

Do guys cross stitch?

YES! We do. In fact, there are a lot more men stitching than you realise!

We’ve shown off works by some of the greatest male cross stitchers out there, and whilst a lot of the traditional style and modern cross stitch doesn’t particularly appeal to men, a lot of custom patterns are being made by men. Its because of this that about 50% of the things we post are by men, including killer pieces like the fantastic Star Wars Tapestry that was even posted in a national newspaper.

However that isn’t the first and only time male cross stitchers have hit the news. In 2015 the BBC news recorded a tweet-by-tweet running news post on election night when Tom Katsumi decided to stitch the general election results live. And even this massively English passive aggressive credit card cross stitch when a a man just didn’t get his new card in a timely manner covered by the BBC.

santander cross stitch by keithstitch
Santander cross stitch by keithstitch

However, despite this, many male stitchers still fly under the radar and go unnoticed by the public. But you know what, I’d much prefer to sit down in the evening with a cross stitch and a brew than off to the pub to watch a “game”. And others feel the same. MrXStitch even has regular posts on male cross stitchers, which in my opinion is some of the best stuff on the site.

There’s actually a lot of information out there devoted to male cross stitch, including a killer post on Cross Stitch for Men by Stitchtastic, and this video by Peacock & Fig below:


If you want to know more about male embroiderers, have you checked out our post about The Rise Of The Manbroiderer?

Free Epic Pokemon All Generations Cross Stitch Pattern

epic pokemon all generations cross stitch
This is the big one. The most outrageous and insanely huge pattern I’ve found anywhere on the internet. It’s a combination of the first 5 generations of Pokemon, using generation 5 sprites. It’s basically a combination of the separate 5 epic pokemon generations cross stitch patterns we posted last week.
It’s a massive 798,000 stitches, with the finished piece well over a meter wide and tall on 14 count (almost 1.5m x 2m). If you attempt it, I salute you!
 
Stitch Count: 798w x 1000h
Finished Size: 57″ x 71.5″ or 145cm x 182cm (14ct)
Number of colors: 234 (DMC)

Due to the size of the pattern it has been split up into 4 files:
Download Bottom Left
Download Bottom Right
Download Top Left
Download Top Right
A few people have requested both color and black and white versions of the pattern. I’m working of this currently, however due to its size the program keeps crashing… :/


Lastly, the only person so far that is still stitching the pattern is samarin6 who last gave us the below update back in 2015, with just over 25% of the pattern complete; 3 years in.
pokemon epic all generations cross stitch by samarin6
 
Looking for something else? Check out our list of free cross stitch patterns for more.

I’m featured in the XStitch Magazine!

It’s been a rather busy few months for me this year, with my upcoming Hello Kitty Kit coming out, and a feature in Mr X Stitch’s Guide to Cross Stitch Book. However, when I heard about the new cross stitch magazine, XStitch, on kick starter, I just HAD to get involved.
 
I’m keeping my pattern secret for now, however it is one of the patterns featured on the cover below.
xstitch magazine cover 1
The first issue comes out Summer 2017, with 80 pages, and all kinds of great things like thought provoking columns, interviews, product reviews and tips and techniques to help you improve your stitching. And to make it stand out from the competiton (just encase the contemporary side of things wasn’t enough) each issue will have a collaborative playlist to listen along to as you read.
It stands to be one of the best magazines around in my mind, and I’m just crazy happy about being able to get involved from the very first issue.
Lord Libidan in the xstitch magazine
I’ve now been published quite a few times. I’ve been the author and contributor to the Hello Kitty Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Wars Cross Stitch Kit, the Star Trek Cross-Stitch: Explore Strange New Worlds of Crafting book, the Disney Classic Cross Stitch Kit, and the Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch book. I’ve also been involved a series of magazines such as the CrossStitcher twice, the CrossStitcher Designer Stitches magazine, CrossStitchCrazy, and the XStitch Mag.
 
You can check out a full unbiased review of the XStitch Magazine at our recap of the best cross stitch magazines.

Cross Stitch Fabric Types

Moving on from my history of cross stitch, I’ve started looking into the various parts of cross stitch and breaking down some of the walls people see when starting out. One of these has got to be the fabrics used for cross stitch.

Simply put, there are four types of fabric used:

  • Aida (the most widely used)
  • Hardanger
  • Linen
  • Evenweave

There are then also specialist fabrics:

  • Waste Canvas
  • Plastic Canvas

A note on counts:
Before we get into what makes up a fabric, we should mention counts. In short, this is the amount of full cross stitches you can get in a line, for an inch. The most common type is a 14 count, which is an Aida. Some fabrics come only in set sizes.

Aida

14 count aida cross stitch fabricAida was invented in 1986 specifically for cross stitch and counted cross stitch. As a result its the most widely used fabric for cross stitch, and is very likely to be the type your using.
Its made up of regular holes on a semi rigid starch heavy cotton. It allows you to cross stitch in perfect squares by using the holes given.
They come in different size counts, from 10 to 32.

Hardanger

Hardanger cross stitch fabric exampleHardanger is very similar to aida, however is 100% cotton without starch, meaning its very easy to stretch and warp. It comes in 22 count only,, however cross stitch can be done over 2 “sets” giving 11 count. Prior to 1986 this was the most common fabric for cross stitch, and most historic examples of cross stitch are on Hardanger. Since the invention of aida Hardanger has dropped massively in popularity and is very rare currently.

Linen

linen cross stitch fabricLinen is a very traditional fabric used for embroidery, made up of flax, an untreated cotton. It can come in a large varience of types, with smaller or larger holes, however its normally found as a 22 to 36 count.

Evenweave

aida and evenweave togetherEvenweave however is a combination of multiple fabric types. Officially aida is a type of linen, but with added starch and even spacing. Evenweave however is linen with even spacing, but no starch. The image here shows that whilst Evenweave is normally much higher count, it can vary from 18 to 32.

Waste Canvas

14-Count-Waste-Canvas cross stitch fabricThe first of out specialist fabrics, waste canvas is made to either dissolve in contact with water, or to be able to pull it apart when wet. Its effectively a type of aida, but with larger holes and special starch that washes out. It usually only comes in 14 count.
Despite its very specific purpose, you can still cross stitch objects without waste canvas.

Plastic Canvas

different types of plastic canvas cross stitch fabricGoing the other way for a specialist thread, plastic canvas is made to be stiff, so you can make 3D objects. It comes in a variety of types, as seen in the image, and some plastics are stiffer than others, meaning you can use them for different purposes. They come in 14 count normally, however I have seen 16, 18 and 22.
An example of what can be acheived with plastic canvas is my transforming cross stitch robot.

Free Epic Pokemon Generations Cross Stitch Patterns

epic pokemon generation 1 cross stitch patternepic pokemon generation 2 cross stitch patternepic pokemon generation 3 cross stitch patternepic pokemon generation 4 cross stitch patternepic pokemon generation 5 cross stitch pattern
Some of the most requested Pokemon patterns out there, and seen as some of the most epic; Servotron’s epic Pokemon cross stitch patterns.
We’ve compiled all 5 of the versions, showing the first 5 generations of Pokemon in the generation 5 Pokemon sprites. Each pattern is the same size, and uses the same 105 master colors.
 
Stitch Count: 256w x 450h
Finished Size: 18.3″ x 32.1″ or 46.4cm x 81.6cm (14ct)
Number of colors: 105 (generation 1), 101 (generation 2), 105 (generation 3), 103 (generation 4) & 101 (generation 5) DMC


These patterns have been completed a few times (and we’ve even posted a few on the blog) and one of the greatest was by Eponases.
epic pokemon cross stitch
She even made this super awesome video timelapse:

Epic Pokemon Generation 2 cross stitch finished
Finished epic Pokemon generation 2 cross stitch pattern

Looking for a truly epic pattern? Have you seen our epic all generations Pokemon cross stitch pattern?
 
Looking for something else? Check out our list of free cross stitch patterns for more.

Cross Sti and the hilarious misspelled cross stitch

Sometimes things go wrong. Maybe it was auto correct, maybe it was miscounting, but regardless, its crazy funny when it doesn’t happen to you. This are some of the best cross stitch mistakes out there.

We start with someone who even made it to a book, specifically Craft Fail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong By Heather Mann, where an entreped cross stitcher spent hours stitching the beginning of her hobby only to realise once she’d finished that it wasn’t all she cracked it up to be.
you are begining misspelled cross stitch

Sometimes people realise a lot earlier though, like this cross stitcher who only drew the letters on, and then realised the missing H. Most shocking of all though, he’s trying to sell it on ebay for $15…
cures artrhitis misspelled cross stitch

Sometimes though, spellings are on purpose. This sarky stitch sadly fools more people than it should, but is a great way to make a mistake a feature.
vilage idiot misspelled cross stitch

Finally though, by far the most common cross stitch mistake I could find; gob. Sadly, some of these are massive pieces.
gob bless this house misspelled cross stitch

Nintendo 64 Micro Console Cross Stitch

Nintendo64 Micro Console Cross Stitch by Lord Libidan
Title: Micro Nintendo64 Console
Date Completed: June 2017
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Plastic
Colours: 13
Game: Nintendo, Pokemon Stadium & Legend of Zelda
I recently saw some awesome retro adverts for the SNES in a Japanese magazine and just fell in love with how they were sold. This idea floated around my head for some time, before I decided to create another 3D project, a super small console. The Nintendo64 jumped into my head, and I started planning based on a pixelated controller I had created some years ago. As it developed I also decided to include 2 controllers, and 2 games; Pokemon Stadium and the golden Legend of Zelda cartridges.
 
I also created a version close to the design of the original advert that inspired me:
Nintendo64 Micro Console Cross Stitch japanese advert by Lord Libidan

1 of 2312345...1020...Last