An Interview with Makoto Oozu the Japanese Cross Stitch Master

Makoto Oozu

It’s super rare that the cross stitch master Makoto Oozu does an interview outside of Japan, however, we were able to speak to him one on one to get a glimps into his world.
 
A lot of people outside of Japan already know who you are, but the story on how you became a cross stitch master is an interesting one. Can you tell us how you came across cross stitch and how it changed your life?
In my early twenties, when I was working at a liquor store, my friend give me a book of cross stitch. It was my first encounter to cross stitch too. Normally, cross stitch books are written for women, with designs like flowers or pretty things. But I thought cross stitch is close to 8bit, which I have loved from childhood. Then I started to design original ones. Then a publisher asked me for some books to be published. However, there were two things they wanted. One; it was made for men who like embroidery. Two; mothers who have little boys liked my design. If I had not come across cross stitch, I would be a liquor shop manager.
 
How and where did you learn you learn how to stitch or sew?
I’ve learned embroidery in a beginner’s book such as ‘Cross stitch A to Z.’ It was completely self-study, so I can have a kind of inferiority complex, but that also works to my advantage allowing me to do anything.
 
What does cross stitch mean to you?
Both a hobby and job. I work for clients on most of my work recently, but I always want to create something new in embroidery.
 
Where do you like to work?
I like to work in my empty studio after everyone has gone home with the radio on.
 
As a fellow manbroiderer (male embroiderer) how do you look at the market, and what changes are you trying to bring in?
The embroidery market has grown due to internet. The internet gave us the ability to show, buy, or sell products. I wonder if I just had interested in cross stitch a little bit earlier than other manbroiderers.
 
How do people respond to you as a male embroiderer?
I’m tall and big guy, so people assume I’m not into embroidery. Everyone usually surprised.
 
Over the years you’ve created a lot of cross stitch. What’s your favorite piece and why?
A bracelet shaped like a ROLEX, which is called “OLEX”. (“OLE” stands for “me” or “I” in Japanese, so it has meaning like my ROLEX). When KAWS came to Japan, he bought it! I could believe my products and the way I have walked is right at that time.
OLEX by Makoto Oozu
 
As one of the only well-known Japanese cross stitchers outside of Japan, how do you think traditional Japanese culture influences your work?
I had no idea that I was well-known outside of Japan lol.
 
I’m 37 years old now. Video games, that I have played when I was a child, influenced my work a lot. And my assistants are methodical, but that may kind of unique to Japan(?).
 
When you design patterns do you try to create patterns for Japan, everyone, or do you create things you like to stitch?
These days, I work with clients, so themes (patterns) are decided due in meetings with them. I used to create patterns that I liked such as insects, dinosaurs, and cars, kind of boyish patterns.
 
With that in mind, where does most of your inspiration for patterns come from?
I have no idea. But, when I am travelling, or shopping, sometimes I think “what if I made these things as cross stitch patterns?” those things become great.
 
What are or were some of the strongest trends and influences you had to absorb before you understood your own work?
Japanese casual fashion between from the middle of 90s to 2000s, when I was around 18 years old. I like Nike Air Jordans, Air Max, G-Shock, Ape, etc… even now.
Makoto Oozu
In 2016 you opened TOKYO PiXEL, and moved slightly away from cross stitch. May I ask why you decided to move away from cross stitch and focus on pixel art?
Cross stitch is one of “pixel art”. And I’ve been a fan of video games. The difference is only one thing; using needles or mice.
 
Do you intend to open up more stores, and make a Oozu empire? I know many people would be interested in a store in Europe or America…
Taking about TOKYO PiXEL, I really hope that our products are sold overseas from bottom of my heart. That’s why a shop is near Asakusa where many tourists come.
I hope some company will help us to sell our products overseas as a partner. There are two reasons. One; as a designer, there are many things you can create. Two; I’m not talented enough to sell or manage it lol.
 
Finally, let’s talk about your new book. After a series of successful books, most of which are super hard to get outside of Japan, you’ve decided to come out with a compendium of your patterns. Can you tell us what makes “Fun Cross Stitch Book” different, and tell us why you were so strongly devoted to making it full color?
Three books that I have published became out of print. I’ve got many requests for reissue. So I add some new designs to these three books as one new book.
I think full color is easy to view. There was a hard problem of costs printing in full color, but the publisher cooperated with me.
 
We reviewed Makoto’s new book Fun Cross Stitch!
fun cross stitch book cover by makoto oozu
Any future projects you’re especially looking forward to?
Some big projects are in progress. I think we would release them in 2017. Please look forward to it. I would love to hold an exhibition overseas sometime, please come there at that time and when you come to Japan, Please visit our shop.
 
Do you have any secrets in your work you will tell us?
I designed 3D embroidery where you wear red and blue 3D glasses, but actually it doesn’t work. lol.
 
You can find Makoto’s work on his website, or you can purchase his kits, porcelins and geekery on his TOKYOPiXEL store.
3-14-13 Kotobuki, Taito, Tokyo, Japan.
Open on every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Japanese national holidays.
12:00 – 19:00 TEL 03-6802-7870

Fun Cross Stitch Book by Makoto Oozu Reviewed

fun cross stitch book cover by makoto oozu

The Japanese cross stitch master, Makoto Oozu has produced a series of books in the past, such as “Makato’s Cross-Stitch Super Collection” which is found on the shelves of most cross stitchers worldwide. That’s why, when he released a new book in Japan, I had to get myself a copy!
fun cross stitch book cover by makoto oozu
This super compendium of miniature cross stitch patterns is 200 pages thick, with new content from 2017 such as an A4 world map, and country specific stitches, as well as the reprints of three of Makoto’s previous books; the Japanese only out of print “My Stitch Book”, “Makato’s Cross-Stitch Super Collection” and “Mega Mini Cross Stitch: 900 Super Awesome Cross Stitch Motifs“.
Makoto decided to put together this new book as he’d been requested by hundreds of people for copies of his out of print books. This means that the book contains over 2000 patterns! Many of which you would have seen before in his previous books, but he’s put together 100 new patterns and there are 300 from his Japanese only book too, meaning this is still a fantastic book to pick up.
fun cross stitch book by makoto oozu
For Makoto, one of the biggest issues with his previous books was the lack of color, and frankly I agree. For a beginner in particular, patterns need to be easy to read, and the dizzying array of icons on a black and white pattern are super confusing. In this new book, not only is every pattern printed in full color glory, but the patterns are too, meaning an easy to follow pattern for beginners.
However, the book is mostly in Japanese, meaning reading the instructions for beginners might be a bit complicated. However there are pictures, and in a book of 200 pages there are a total of 9 in Japanese, so it really isn’t a problem for most people, and is still a great collection of patterns.
fun cross stitch book full color preview by makoto oozu
If you fancy picking up the book, you can currently get a copy on the Japanese Amazon for about $20 (as of September 2017). I’m afraid to say we’ve got confirmation from Makoto that it won’t be published outside of Japan, so this is currently the only way you can pick one up.
In fact, we spoke to Makoto about a few things, such as the Japanese cross stitch trends, you should check out my interview with Makoto Oozu.
 
And finally, I leave you with a quote from the author himself about his new book:

If you compare it to rice, it’s like a book with raw egg, red ginger and miso soup in a special rice bowl.

Makoto Oozu

DMCs 35 New Threads

DMC new threads

For the first time in 14 years, DMC threads are launching new colors. We were able to get a preview set, and so we’re decided to help out and go into detail with the 35 new colors.
Firstly, the new colors range from code 01 to 35, and no colors are being replaced; these are all additional only. This brings the total range up to 500. They’re out in late October/early November (dependent on where you live).
Based of the new colors is clear that DMC have really listened to what customers wanted. Without further ado, lets look at each of the new colors.
 
New DMC Thread range 01 to 35
 
01 to 04 – Greys
DMC threads color 01DMC threads color 02DMC threads color 03DMC threads color 04
The first set is numbers 01 to 04, all grey. The current grey selection is a bit lack luster, with very popular colors such as 415, 318 and 414 being slightly purple hued. The new set effectively replaces these colors by removing the purple, making a fantastic run of 762, 01, 02, 03, 04, 317, 413, 3799, 310. We’ve made up this color swatch up below. Honestly, of all the new threads, we think these four will be the most popular by far, and will stop that weird purple hue on grey scale projects like our Canabalt piece.
dmc greys

 
05 to 09 – Browns
DMC threads color 05DMC threads color 06DMC threads color 07DMC threads color 08DMC threads color 09
The second set, 05 to 09, are all brown. At first glance they’ve very similar to the 453, 452, 451, 3861, 3860, 779 line, however that has historically been muddled and lacking in a progressive shading. Instead, the new line makes a pure brown, something that’s been missing for a while from the traditional line.
 
10 to 18 – Greens
DMC threads color 10DMC threads color 11DMC threads color 12DMC threads color 13DMC threads color 14DMC threads color 15DMC threads color 16DMC threads color 17DMC threads color 18
Initially it seems a little odd to have so many greens in the new threads, especially considering green has always been a strong point of DMC. However, if you think about the greens available, they either transition into blue, or brown. Hardly any move into yellow. This is where the new green threads come in, offering fairly pale greens that transition into yellow. In addition color 13 sits as a lighter 3849 to allow blue to green blending a little easier at pale ends of the spectrum.
 
19 – Orange
DMC threads color 19
We then have the solitary 19, a peachy orange. This is clearly made to fit within existing 3823, 3855, 19, 3854, 3853 line. I must admit, I’ve never really seen much use of these colours, however unlike most other color ranges featuring at least 5 colors, it shows DMC are devoted to making their existing line perfect. (The images don’t do it justice.)
dmc peachy oranges
In addition this orange could be included within the next set of colors; flesh tones.
 
20 to 22 – Flesh tones
DMC threads color 20DMC threads color 21DMC threads color 22
Skin tones have ALWAYS been an issue with threads, and whilst there are some good shades out there, the darker white skin colors have been missing for a while. Colors 20 to 22 solve that issue.
 
23 to 35 – Purples
DMC threads color 23DMC threads color 24DMC threads color 25DMC threads color 26DMC threads color 27DMC threads color 28DMC threads color 29DMC threads color 30DMC threads color 31DMC threads color 32DMC threads color 33DMC threads color 34DMC threads color 35
Finally, we look upon the final section of new threads, colors 23 to 35. These compromise a series of purples, mostly light hued, without any runs of progressively darker threads. For a long time purple has been a big issue, with only darker purples being an use, as lighter ones were just way too pink. The new threads offer both lighter purples, but also a series of purples that merge into other colors, such as 28 and 29 which blend into a grey line 415, 318 and 414, which now feels a little orphaned with the new greys. 30, 31 and 32 blend into blue. And 33, 34 and 35 blend into red well, something there currently isn’t any of.
 
A word on compatibility
It’s worth noting that with all new threads, pick up is a little slow going at first. Most pattern makers will updated yearly, meaning the next update using these threads could be some time in mid 2018. We reached out to WinStitch/MacStitch which will send an update in the coming week. No update on when PCStitch will update, we’ll update this when we hear back.
In addition the DMC shade card, something we’re big fans of here is not being updated for the moment. We’ve heard rumors is not as easy to get your hands on one at the moment, so we do expect an upgrade, but we’re estimating it to be announced in the new year.
 
Where and when can you get them?
Officially the new threads go on open sale in November, with a few select retailers getting their hands on them early. One of these is SewAndSo.com where you can buy each thread with 25% off, or get a collectors tin with all of them included, in the middle of October. In Canda you can pick them up from StitchItCentral. We expect this will be the only place you can pick them up this early, with the DMC website, Hobbycraft and Michaels to carry the line once they’re officially out in November. We’ve got confirmation that Walmart will NOT be carrying the line at all.
New DMC threads collectors tin

The Best Cross Stitch Forums

Following our super popular post on how to show cross stitch offline we’ve received a few comments about the best forums to display your work on. On the last count there were about 30 forums, and so we’ve reviewed and ordered the list from most active community to least active community, based on a test every day for 28 days.

Cross-Stitching.com

cross-stitching.com forum
Owner of a whole slew of cross stitch magazines its no surprise that cross-stitching.com has a massive following. Whilst the content of the website is a little hit and miss in my mind, the forums are epic. Not only are they massive but at any one time they have about 150-300 people logged in. The sheer size is a big draw, however, unlike a lot of other forums they don’t have any moderators, due to the community being so well behaved and helpful.
I would say that there are two small negatives; the first is that there appear to only have a few true experts, with most posts being about how to cross stitch, and secondly, its very traditional.
 

Reddit

reddit /r/crossstitch
In a stark contrast to cross-stitching.com’s forum, reddit’s /r/CrossStitch is far more contemporary (although there is a fair share of traditional in there), and MUCH more international. There are roughly 50 people logged into the forum at any time, and whilst that’s much smaller in size, the particiation is much greater, and often this is where the cross stitch masters hang their hat.
There’s a bit of a learning curve needed though, as each time you post, you have to add a code to the start of your message, but once you’ve picked it up, its actually super easy to navigate.
 

CrossStitchForum

cross stitch forum
Starting to get on the less busy side now, we have the CrossStitchForum, who’s whole purpose in life is a forum for cross stitchers. Whilst it was extreamly popular back in 2007, its suffered with low figures for a while, and I think we may see the end of it soon. However, in those archives are some of the best cross stitch question and answers you’ve ever seen. Whenever I have a question I look up the answer here first.
 

Craftster

craftster cross stitch
A much larger forum, is craftster, which in itself is a massive beast, however the cross stitch and needlepoint section seems to have dwindled in the last 5 years. Whilst its a great place to show off your completed projects and WIPs, the community isn’t really there, and there isn’t much participation past the occassional “well done”.
 

The Cross Stitch Guild

cross stitch gold
The Cross Stitch Guild, unlike all our other entries, has never been a busy forum. However, the one saving grace, is anyone posting is likely been stitching for decades. This means that any questions you have will not only be answered, but be answered by someone who has gone through the exact same things thousands of times before. Not too busy, but worth its weight in gold; pun intented.
 
If you know of any good forums, even if they’re specific to certain parts of cross stitch, then drop me a line and I’ll review them!

The Mr X Stitch Guide to Cross Stitch Book Review

mr x stitch guide to cross stitch Cover
It’s rare that I review a cross stitch book, and I know many of you want them, but there is rarely a reason. Most books are either mass patterns, which you will love or hate based on personal taste, or a historical tome, which either appeals or doesn’t. But this book review is different. Other than being written by my good pal Mr X Stitch (Jamie), the Mr X Stitch Guide To Cross Stitch book is not a normal cross stitch book. In my mind that should give you enough information to want to read it anyway, however, we got our hands on a pre-published copy, so onto the detailed review!
mr x stitch guide to cross stitch inside page 58-59
So the first thing to say is it has 20 patterns. These are all in the modern and contemporary style, such as small pixelated Mona Lisa, or a pineapple (actually three pineapples). The idea of the patterns, whilst being great projects, is to help explain the craft. And that’s because this book is about EVERYTHING cross stitch. It starts simple, instructions for basic patterns, and moves on to more and more complicated parts of the craft, including pattern making. But instead of stopping there Jamie goes from the very humble beginnings of cross stitch to some of the most extreme stitching around, with four key outliers of the craft (myself included), who push the boundaries of the craft. This is all backed with tips and tricks from decades of expert advice, add combined into one of the best looking cross stitch books around.
mr x stitch guide to cross stitch inside page 8-9
Jamie has always been someone to push cross stitch as an art form, and I’ve gone into some detail about is cross stitch is art or craft before (which includes a picture of Jamie stitching the Mona Lisa from the book), but instead of focusing on how people think about cross stitch, Jamie actively changes your mind. His tips of color blending and using materials such as glow in the dark threads shows you how being a little braver with your own stitches can bring a cutting edge twist to your art.
 

For many, cross stitch conjures up images of cute kittens and country cottages, but this book shows people that there’s a different side to cross stitching that it’s an art in its own right, and will encourage them to be a little braver with their art.

If at this point you’re not super excited, and convinced by the photos, then I don’t know what will get you excited. Frankly, I think this might be the best cross stitch book in existence.
 

You can pick up a copy from the publisher searchpress or your local book store.

XStitch Magazine Review

On our series covering the best cross stitch magazines we review the newest, and most contemporary mag, XStitch.
To do this review we’ve compiled a series of reviews from industry leaders, as well as feefo reviews.
xstitch magazine cover 1
Traditionally cross stitch gets the rep of being about teddies, flowers and all things cottage, however following the end of a few eminant cross stitch mags, Mr X Stitch, a previous pattern designer for the CrossStitcher magazine decided to take on a new challenge, and make a cross stitch magazine for all the young contemporary stitchers. As a direct result, the mag has a very different edge to its competitors, offering stylish pages, well written content, and a great heap of important cross stitchers (the first magazine had 12 designers from all over the world, including Jane Greenoff and Emily Peacock).
 

How has no one ever made a magazine like this before?! THIS is what I want.

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Inside you’ll find only 20 patterns, but each will be crafted to a specific and topical theme each edition. Up to 50 designers submit patterns and only the best are chosen. These are then converted into 4 pattern types which are all downloadable with the mag. In addition to the usual content such as topical articles and reviews there is also an online playlist chosen by the designers to listen to as you read.
The biggest thing you’ll notice however, is there aren’t any adverts. The magazine has been put together for the readers, and its not full of filler.
 
As the only contemporary magazine on the market, it will either appeal or not, however I think that’s its charm.
 
$7 per quarter; all copies come with digital and print versions, downloadable patterns in 3 formats and online playlist
 

Loads of patterns
Lots of mainstream patterns
Large readership
Not many modern patterns
Expensive outside of the UK
Not many freebies

Score: 9.9/10
142 reviews on feefo

 
 
If you liked this review, but you’re looking for something a bit more traditional you might like our review of the CrossStitcher, or The World Of Cross Stitching review.

What is the best cross stitch magazine?

There are loads of cross stitch magazines out there, and with magazines like Cross Stitch and Needlework and Cross Stitch Collection coming to and end, I felt it was a good time to go through some of the most popular cross stitch magazines out there and give a bit more detail so you can pick the best one for you.

CrossStitcher

crossstitcher magazine cover
$2 – $6 per month; digital and print

Currently the second most popular cross stitch magazine out there, but on the rise, CrossStitcher focuses on modern cross stitch. The contemporary, bright, bold designs are better suited to a 16-50 age bracket, with great finishing ideas, and loads of freebies every issue. Its also the only magazine to offer a digital only option, which at $2 is a steal in itself, although with a physical copy for only $6 it might be worth getting that, as you get the digital copy for free.
Many prominent artists have been featured, including myself back in 2012, 2013 and 2015
Score 9.4/10
Full CrossStitcher review

The World Of Cross Stitching

the world of cross stitching magazine cover$6 – $12 per month; digital and print

The World of Cross Stitching (or TWOCS as its sometimes known) is the longest running cross stitching magazine in world wide production, and you can see why quite quickly; its very mainstream. If this is what you’re looking for then its a great magazine, full of patterns, and the largest in size on the list. It plays up on being British for the American market, and so as a Brit you might find it a little unrealistic, but it has lots of other animal, teddy, flower, heart, etc based patterns. They theme on seasons heavily, to the point where every issue is a holiday of some kind. They include free items, but these tend to be knickknacks and not pattern stitching items, however they do include waste canvas often, which can be hard to get your hands on. In recent years its started to struggle as people have moved to other magazines on the list, however still commands a massive following.
Score 9.2/10
Full The World Of Cross Stitching review

Cross Stitch Crazy

cross stitch crazy magazine cover
$12 – $14 per month; print only

Cross Stitch Crazy is a very similar magazine to The World Of Cross Stitching, however tends to appeal to the English market better, with less American holidays, less playing up to being British and more kit giveaways. However, its main draw back, which people are very vocal about is its Christmas period. For the three months leading, all the magazines are devoted to Christmas. This tends to get on people’s nerves a bit. Other than that, its a good magazine, but it might be worth a flick through before buying each month as its a bit hit and miss.
Score 8.3/10

Cross Stitch Gold

cross stitch gold magazine cover
$7 – $9 per month; print only

Cross Stitch Gold appeals to the established stitcher, with sometimes VERY complex and large patterns, focuses towards traditional. All the patterns are from established designers, such as Joan Elliott, and most of the projects will take you more than a month to finish. There are no freebies, and most patterns are focused on landscapes, portraits, houses, fairies, samurai, etc much like traditional cross stitch patterns.
Score 8.0/10

Cross Stitch Favourites

cross stitch favourites magazine cover
$5 – $8 per quarter; print only

A new comer to the cross stitch magazine scene, its demographic is hard to pin down. Almost every cover has “cute” written on it in large, and patterns tend to side with teddy bears and baby congratulations. Its only been going a year, and doesn’t theme for seasons, but barely comes with any free gifts, and never includes enough to make a pattern from the mag.
Score 6.1/10

Enjoy Cross Stitch

enjoy cross stitch magazine cover
$11 – $14 per month; print only

Enjoy Cross Stitch Magazine is a new magazine, out less than a year, and clearly aimed at getting young girls into cross stitch. The patterns are all very easy, oriented towards pink, and the magazine comes with enough included to get at least 3 patterns made. Each magazine is themed, but never seasonal. However, of all the magazines on the list, its the only one that has a lot of “other” magazine content. You’re likely to find interviews with popular artists, snippets from books, and quizzes not related to cross stitch.
Score 4.9/10

XStitch

xstitch magazine cover 1
$7 per quarter

Made by MrXStitch this kickstarter based magazine was created as a direct opposite to the girly magazines the scene is full of. Its simple message, is bringing cross stitch up to date, with very modern patterns, and features that a lot of magazines don’t have; such as everyone gets print and online versions, with larger patterns to see better, a podcast of songs to go with all the patterns, a online community for further support and showing off, etc. Unlike the rest of the entries on the list XStitch is not full of patterns by one main designer, but instead each issue has 12 different designers from around the world (including people like Jane Greenoff and myself), specifically chosen for the themes, which are must more radical than the usual.
Score 9.9/10

Just Cross Stitch

just cross stitch magazine cover
$7 per month; print only; USA only

The only US only magazine on the list, Just Cross Stitch has been going just over 30 years, and has had a bit of a rocky start since it was sold last year. The patterns are sometimes inspired, but can occasionally look tired. It has a modern design, and most patterns follow this ideal, and it features lesser known internet cross stitch celebrities. Its big pull is the Christmas ornament issue (not to be confused with the Christmas issue coming out the month after), which includes a large supply of free things, and features nothing but unique ways to make cross stitch ornaments. Its worth looking into if you’re US based, but they currently don’t have any plans to supply the rest of the world.
Score 7.6/10

The World Of Cross Stitching Magazine Review

On our series covering the best cross stitch magazines we review the biggest world wide cross stitch magazine, The World Of Cross Stitching.
To do this review we’ve compiled a series of reviews from industry leaders, as well as feefo reviews and at least a year of continuous subscription to the mag.
the world of cross stitching magazine cover
When people think of cross stitch magazines, the first one they think of is The World Of Cross Stitching. Its one of the longest running magazines and has over 44,000 monthly readers, making it the largest international cross stitching magazine. As a result when flicking through, you see mainstream patterns; tailored to make sure they’re are as accessable as possible. Whilst this can appeal to an average cross stitcher, the younger or male cross stitchers tend to feel very underwhelmed by the teddy, flower and heart patterns that adorn most issues.

The teddy was just so cute, it even got my daughter into cross stitching!

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In regards to the content itself, almost all of the patterns are by the four editors/designers who aren’t known for being big players in the field. At least 20% of the magazine is devoted to full page adverts for various companies. The patterns themselves are mostly small (under 5 hours stitching time), with one 24+ hour piece in each issue.

Its market share shows that cross stitch clearly isn’t on they way out, however with its slightly over played British vibe and traditional patterns, its lost market share recently to alternatives like the CrossStitcher which appeals to a younger crowd.

$6 – $12 per month; digital and print

Loads of patterns
Lots of mainstream patterns
Large readership
Not many modern patterns
Expensive outside of the UK
Not many freebies

Score: 9.2/10
17213 reviews on feefo

If you liked this review, or are looking for something similar you might like our review of the CrossStitcher, or a quick review of the biggest cross stitch magazines.

Cross Stitcher Magazine Review

On our series covering the best cross stitch magazines we review the more modern cross stitch magazine, CrossStitcher.
To do this review we’ve compiled a series of reviews from industry leaders, as well as feefo reviews and at least a year of continuous subscription to the mag.
cross stitcher magazine cover
As the main competitor to The World Of Cross Stitching magazine, the CrossStitcher takes a different angle to the world of cross stitch, with a much more modern take. The patterns are modern, and feature unique ways of finishing stitches, framing, and witty new takes, which allows it to be the main cross stitch magazine for the younger and more modern crowd. They tend to vary patterns inside from 60-90 equally spaced between small, medium, and large patterns. Unlike many other magazines they tend to advertise using actual content, suggesting a site to get a frame, etc instead of full page adverts.

If you like very modern and contemporary designs then that’s probably your best bet. They use lots of bright, bold colours, fun finishing ideas etc

reddit (/r/crossstitch)

They are also well known for the free stuff you get, allowing you to at least complete 2 patterns each issue with the freebies provided, although it should be noted the freebies aren’t the highest quality. Its by far the cheapest magazine on offer at the moment, and there are no high fees to pay for postage, especially so with the digital versions.

The ability to be modern and constantly on the cutting edge is how the patterns are sourced; they ask big players in the cross stitch field such as MrXStitch, Maria Diaz, flossandmischief, Jacqui P, Emily Peacock, and Jane Greenoff (founder of the Cross Stitch Guild) to supply patterns.

$2 – $6 per month; digital and print

Loads of patterns
Lots of mainstream patterns
Large readership
Not many modern patterns
Expensive outside of the UK
Not many freebies

Score: 9.4/10
16421 reviews on feefo

If you liked this review, or are looking for something similar you might like our review of The World Of Cross Stitching, or a quick review of the biggest cross stitch magazines.

The Best Cross Stitch Calculators

A cross stitch calculator is basically a requirement for all stitchers. Sure, if you wanted you could do the maths, but who has time? And who want’s to check it three times over to make sure its right? Neh, instead, pull out the calculator.
There are a few out there now, each doing slightly different things. We’re going to roundup all the best ones in one post, with their pros and cons.

The Best – Lord Libidan’s

This post has started for a simple reason; I wasn’t happy with the ones available. So I took all the best features from all of the below calculators and combined them into one. Which we (of course) belive is the best, but we’ve also got loads of support from reddit!

Pattern Size: 

Pattern Size: 

Fabric Count: 

Each stitch covers? 

Extra fabric for border? 

Extra fabric for framing? 

 stitches wide by
 stitches high

 threads per inch

Stitched area will be: 

Stitched area will be: 

Fabric should be: 

Fabric should be: 

 inches wide  inches high

 CM wide  CM high

 inches wide  inches high

 CM wide  CM high

Use a size  cross stitch needle

Use  strands of floss for stitching

Use  strands of floss for backstitch

Cross stitch calculator created by LordLibidan.com 


Yarn Tree

yarn tree cross stitch calculator
Yarntree’s calculator has previously held the title as the best due to its extra features. It allows you to select extra aida a the sides for framing and gives you both inches and centimeters, but it also simplifies this down by just asking it you want it or not, doing all the fancy maths in the background.

Crossstitch.com

crossstitch com cross stitch calculator
The original online calculator, crossstitch.com do a lot right, however with slightly less choice than Yarntree, always comes away without fully doing the job.

Needlework Tips & Tricks

needlework tips and tricks cross stitch calculator
Barely known for anything else, needlework tips & tricks’ calculator has gained a lot of momentum due to it being more mobile compatible than the others mentioned (other than our own), however will a lot less options, tends to be a quick reference calculator to give an approximate, and not exact measurements.

123Stitch

123stitch cross stitch calculator
An extreamly simple calculator, 123stitch tried to link it to a sales procedure that didn’t really work out. Now it serves as the only most basic of sums, which might be better off done in your head.