Follow these tips to make sure you always choose a design that is both attractive and suited to your stitching needs
1. Size … think about what size design you prefer to stitch and how much time you have. Anything over 130 squares wide is a large design.
2. Difficulty … look at the picture on the kit front to see what stitches are used and how frequently you will have to change color.
3. Fabric … don’t try out too many new techniques in the same design – for example, stitching on evenweave, working on a dark fabric background, French knots or partial ¼ stitches – unless you’re up for a challenge.
4. Chart style … is the chart filled in with blocks of color, symbols or a combination of both? Color charts can be hard to follow especially if the colors are different from the actual threads. Symbol charts can be enlarged on a photocopier.
5. Picture … it’s much easier to complete a design if you can see what it is going to look like from a photograph. Use it to check details and to identify color shades.
6. Practicality …do you need a hoop or a frame to stitch your design? Some designs are so large that they have to be stretched out on a floor stand. Small designs are more portable.
7. Organizing the threads … are the threads pre-sorted on to an organizer? If not, will it be an easy job to identify the colors and mark them on an organizer?
8. Instructions … this is important for beginners. Ask your needlework store which kits are likely to contain the clearest instructions.
9. Presentation … you may find it a good incentive to make you finish the design if you buy a frame for it and decide where it will hang before you start.
10. Price … if it brings you many hours of stitching pleasure and a beautiful object for your home, the kit may be worth the expense. If in doubt, go back a few days later to see if it thrills you as much as it did when you first saw it.