Embroidery Basics - Needle and Thread

The other day I was out buying embroidery thread, like I do at every opportunity, and was chatting to the store owner about how much easier it is to stitch with two threads. And she said 'I didn't learn about that until I had been stitching for twenty years!' I thought it would be a good idea to show any tips and tricks I know here, and I thought it would be helpful for anyone new to embroidery.

PREPARING YOUR NEEDLE AND THREAD

You will need:
Fabric (I've got aida here)
A needle
Embroidery thread (also sometimes called floss)
Embroidery hoop
Scissors

Step 1 - measuring the thread
You want your thread to be short enough that it is not tangling all the time, but not so short that you feel like you are constantly rethreading your needle. 
A good gauge of this is having your working thread about the length of your forearm. (If you have long limbs like my lovely model you can shorten it slightly.)

Step 2 - separating the thread
Choose how many strands you would like to separate. Hold onto the strands you want to stitch with and gently pull the rest of the strands downwards. Be careful not to let it get tangled as you do this.

Step 3 - threading the needle
This is pretty self explanatory (the thread goes into the eye of the needle) but if you are having some difficulty you could try one of these things:
- snip the ends of the thread so that they are not frayed
- lick the thread (but don't leave it dripping wet)
- use a needle with a larger eye


TOP TIPS - STITCHING WITH TWO STRANDS

Step 1 - doubling your thread
Separate one strand of floss and double it over. You should have one end with the two strands and one with a loop. Thread your needle with the two strands (not the looped end).

Step 2 - first stitch
Do you first stitch as normal, starting and finishing at the back

Step 3 - 'knotting' the thread
Pull your needle through the loop and draw tight. This should leave your thread secure but without the bulk of a knot. Then continue stitching as per your pattern. 

You can also do this with any even number of strands!

If you have any questions not answered by this post please ask them below and I will give them and answer :)

xo Kirste Isabel