Cross Stitch — Gridding Method
Traditional cross stitching methods have you mark the center point and count everything out from that point. In recent years however, the gridding method has been developed. With gridding, you mark out a grid on your fabric that matches the tens lines from your pattern. It gives you a framework to begin stitching any point in the pattern with far less counting, and lets you discover any mistakes earlier than you might otherwise. You will want to be careful that you count correctly on your gridding, but once it’s done, you’ll never have to count more than 5 stitches from the nearest gridline. For me, it makes cross stitching much easier and more relaxing.
Find the center of your fabric. The easiest way to do this is to fold your fabric in half both ways – the point where they meet is center. You will want a long length of thread to grid. Mark center with a plus sign.
You’re going to grid in 10 stitch increments, to match the 10, 20, etc. lines on your pattern. Go to the nearest ten line from center. In my example, the center of the pattern is at 25, 30. Most patterns start with 0, 0 in the top left corner, so this means center is 25 stitches to the right and 30 stitches down from the top left corner. Occasionally you’ll see a pattern where 0, 0 is the center point – gridding works the same way, it’s just the count that’s different.
So, in my example, I’m going to move to 20, 30 to start my tens line. I’m going to mark my vertical lines by stitching 10 stitches up, 10 stitches down. It doesn’t matter whether you begin gridding down your pattern or up the pattern, you’ll end up marking it all eventually.
When you reach the end of a column, you’ll go 10 stitches horizontal to begin the next column. If a column ends with an “under” section, I prefer to add a little stitch at the end so that my thread is carried under the fabric to the next column.
If you run out of thread, just tie off and start a new piece.
And there you go, one completed grid! Now you can begin your cross stitching, starting anywhere you want (not just from center), and never needing to count more than 5 stitches from the nearest grid line. Try to avoid piercing the gridline as you stitch, but it’s okay if it happens occasionally.
When you are through stitching, you can cut your gridlines and gently pull them out from the fabric. If the gridline is stuck on some stitches, cut it right before that point and then pull from the other direction and it should come loose.