cross stitch charts: changing the size

(This tutorial is kinda unfinished for now but I just got a request for info on how to make a small pattern bigger…)

Never let anyone tell you there’s no math in cross stitch!

The EASIEST way to change the size of the finished piece is to use a different thread count of fabric. If 14-count would give you a piece too big for what you want, how about 18-count? If 25-count is too small, 18-count could be just right.

When I stitched up samples of my unicorn phone-cover chart, I did it in both 14 count AND 28-count. The number of stitches is the same for each one but the one in 28-count is half the dimensions of the one in 14-count.

What if 14-count is too big but 18-count is too small? That’s where it gets a LITTLE bit more complicated. I don’t know of any place that sells 16-count fabric for cross stitch, but I have seen 32-count linen. Most people (I’m not one of them) stitch over 2 threads when using linen instead of fabrics like Aida or Monaco, so using 32-count linen effectively means stitching in 16-count.

Say you have a chart that’s 140 stitches wide. In 28-count, that’s exactly 5 inches (which is why I picked it – I’m used to doing the math for 28-count). In 25-count though it’s slightly more than 5 and a half inches. In 22-count (which I don’t like because 1 strand of floss isn’t enough for good coverage but 2 is too thick) it’s about 6 and a third inches. In 18-count it’s just 4 stitches short of 8 inches. And in 14-count it is 10 inches, twice what it is in 28-count.

(I’ll be adding the math formula — don’t worry, it isn’t hard — for figuring the finished size of a pattern depending on stitch count of your new fabric… I just need to make up a good picture to go with that.)


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