Cross Stitch Patterns from Fine Art by Scarlet Quince
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Tutorial: Using the Floss Calculator

Use the Scarlet Quince floss calculator to get a shopping list for the floss you'll need for any of our patterns. It allows you to gather your floss before your pattern arrives, or if you need floss requirements for something other than 16- or 18-count fabric stitched with 2 strands.
1. To get to the floss calculator, look under the Goodies tab. Or, when you are on a pattern page, look on the left for a button that says Get floss requirements. Floss requirements: floss requirements button
Floss calculator: thread count
Start by telling us the thread count of the fabric you will use. 18-count is the default but you can change it to whatever you plan to use.

If you're not sure what the thread count is, lay a ruler down on the fabric and count the number of threads in 1 inch (or in 2.5 cm). (The fabric industry has not gone metric, so the thread count is always the number of threads in 1 inch, everywhere in the world.) Even if you know what it's supposed to be, it's a good idea to verify it because sometimes it's not quite right. This is especially true if you have washed and pressed the fabric. Note that if your fabric is aida, each bundle of fine threads between the large holes is counted as ONE THREAD.
Floss calculator: over 1 or 2
The next item is how you'll stitch: over 1 thread or over 2 threads. When you stitch "over 1", each stitch crosses one intersection of threads. When you stitch "over 2", each stitch goes over two intersections of threads. If you are using aida, this should be a 1. If you're using linen or an evenweave, this will normally be 2, but it is possible to stitch over 1 as well.
Floss calculator: which pattern Next, fill in the pattern code (or follow the link to the fabric calculator from the pattern page. You must give a valid Scarlet Quince pattern code.
Floss calculator: units Now tell us the units (inches or centimeters) in which you want the floss requirements given. The default is inches.
Floss calculator: threads in needle Finally, select the number of threads you will have in your needle at one time. Most of the time, this will be 2 (1 thread of each color for blends). 1 thread in the needle means that you make one leg of the cross with a single thread of one color and then come back and complete the cross with a single thread of the other color. This will only apply if you are using such a high thread count fabric that there isn't room for two threads in the needle. If you're stitching on canvas, you may need 4 or 6 threads.
7. Click the "Calculate" button and a list of floss requirements is displayed in order by DMC color number. The floss amounts are approximate. The amounts reported are:

< 1 foot< 25 cm
2 feet50 cm
1 yard1 m
2 yards2 m
3 yards3 m
1/2 skein (4.4 yards)1/2 skein (2 m)
3/4 skein (6.5 yards)3/4 skein (6 m)
1 skein (8.7 yards)1 skein (8 m)
multiple skeinsmultiple skeins

If the amount required is between two points it is rounded up to the next amount. So if the amount needed is 5/8 skein, the requirements would say 3/4 skein. If the amount needed is 1 1/2 skeins, the requirements would say 2 skeins.

The amounts less than one skein allow you, if you already have some floss, to decide if you have enough on hand of that particular color. They are always for 6 strands. If the quantity is less than 1 foot, for example, since you wouldn't normally cut your floss that short, it is equivalent to a 2-foot length of 3 strands, or a 6-foot length of one strand.

The quantities are always for cross stitch. If you are going to do a needlepoint stitch (tent or basket stitch), you'll only need 60-70% of the amounts we give.
8. To arrive at these estimates, we determine a hypothetical stitching path to model the amount of floss you'll use. It is based on a few assumptions:
  • You cut your floss in 21-inch lengths (53 cm). This gives you 15 segments per skein, with no useless short pieces left over. (There are other lengths that achieve the same thing (such as 21 15-inch segments) but you will have more wasted floss that way. If you anchor and discard the last of the floss when it's down to 3 inches (7.5 cm) you waste 14% of a 21-inch segment, but 20% of a 15-inch segment.)
  • You stitch Danish style (make all the / before coming back to make the \). English style (completing each X as you go) uses about 9% more floss.
  • You don't carry the floss on the back across more than 4 stitches. At 16-count, this would be 1/4 inch (0.6 cm). You might decide that you are willing to carry the floss 1/2 inch (1.25 cm), so the number of stitches you jump over depends on the thread count of the fabric. At 22-count, 1/2 inch is 11 stitches.
  • Your starting and ending anchors use 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) of floss.
  • When your floss is down to 3 1/2 inches (8.75 cm), you anchor, cut it off and discard it.
You do not have to stitch this way! Just keep in mind that your floss needs may be a little different.

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