Cross Stitch Patterns from Fine Art by Scarlet Quince
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Tutorial: Floss Lasso

Anchoring at the Beginning of Stitching

The floss lasso is a technique for anchoring floss at the beginning of stitching. It works on aida, linen, or any other type of fabric, stitched over 1 or 2, with any number of strands of floss, blended or not. It makes for a less congested back than running floss under existing stitches. It has become our favorite starting anchor — it's quick, easy, neat, and holds well, yet is easy to remove if you have to.

Here's how to do it.
Floss lasso: top at the beginning
1. Holding the tail end of the floss (1/2" to 3/4", or 1-2 cm), make the first leg of the cross as usual. Come up for the second leg of the cross, but don't pull the floss all the way through. The top of the work looks like this.

You may like to tie a small knot at the tail end before you start to make it easier to hold on to the tail. (The knot will be cut off later.)
Floss lasso: back at the beginning
2. Leave a loop on the back which is 1-2" (2-4 cm) long. At this point, the back looks like this.
Floss lasso: drop the loop over the tail
3. Still looking at the back, let go of the tail, and drop the loop over the loose end. (If you have pulled the floss too far and the loop is too small, just pull the needle and the floss will come right out of the fabric and you can start again.)

If you made a knot in the tail, you can pull the tail through the loop with a fine crochet hook.
Floss lasso: draw the loop snug
4. Grab the tail again, and pulling from the needle end, pull the loop snug against the tail (the back looks like this)
Floss lasso: pull the floss so the loop flips down
5. Now let go of the tail and pull the floss just a little more. The loop flips down to hold the tail securely (the back looks like this). Don't pull too tight or the loop will pull the tail through to the top of the fabric.
Floss lasso: snip off the tail
6. Brush the tail so that it lies either along the direction of stitching, so you can stitch over it, or brush it out of the way. Take a few stitches. You can either complete the first cross or go on to make the first half of the next cross. If the next cross is not directly to the right of the first, you must complete the first cross before going on. After you've made a few stitches, snip off the tail. If you have not stitched over it, don't cut it too short -- leave something for the lasso to hold onto.

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