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.

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

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.

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

Find The Perfect Skin Tone – DMC Threads

Finding the right skin tone threads can be VERY hard, normally resulting in a super pink face, or a washed out face. However, with the sheer volume of threads out there, its not actually that hard to create really realistic skin tones.
skin tone DMC thread table 3
We’ve created the above table so you can look up the skin tone you want to stitch and see both highlight and shadow thread colors for DMC to go with it. Equally, you can go down the table to see darker skin tones progressively.
With this you can edit existing patterns to match skin tones you want, or you can make your own patterns with quality skin colors.

Pokemon Map Cross Stitch

Pokemon National Map cross stitch by Lord Libidan
Title: Pokemon National Map
Date Completed: June 2017
Design: Lord Libidan
Count: 14
Canvas: Pale Blue
Colours: 13
Game: Pokemon
 
I’ve always loved maps, and have been intending to create a cross stitch map for sometime, however I never settled on which game. I tried a fallout vault, a hitman map, even looking into final fantasy for a while, however I realised that there was one game I always went back to, that shared a map between all its games; Pokemon.
This is the national map, meaning it doesn’t contain Unova, Kalos, or any of the ranger games.