Cross Stitch Patterns from Fine Art by Scarlet Quince
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Tutorial: Away Waste Knot

Anchoring at the Beginning of Stitching

The away waste knot is a method of anchoring your stitching which is particularly useful at the very beginning of your stitching, when there are no other stitches around to use for anchoring the floss. You start "away" (at a distance) from the location of your first stitch with a knot, which you later "waste" (cut off). Here's how to do it.
Away waste knot: first stitch
1. First, tie a knot in the end of your floss. (See the Basic Knot Tutorial for how to do this.) At least 3 inches (7.5 cm) from where your first cross will be, stitch down through the fabric so that the knot is on the front. Situate the knot so that it and the floss leading to your first stitch will not be in your way as you stitch, probably to the left of and above the stitch.
Away waste knot: front after some crosses
2. Begin stitching normally. After a few crosses have been completed, the front of the fabric looks like the picture at the left (except that in reality, the knot would be at least 45-50 stitches away. To keep the picture small, it is shown much closer.)
Away waste knot: front after some crosses
Note: you don't have to complete the crosses before tying off the floss in the back. You might have made only half of each cross, so that your stitching looked like this.
Away waste knot: back after some crosses
3. Snip off the knot and flip the fabric over. The back looks like this (except, again, that the tail of floss should be much longer than this).
Away waste knot: finishing
4. Thread the tail of floss onto a needle. Run the tail through the backs of the stitches.
Away waste knot: finished
5. Snip off the excess floss. The completed away waste knot looks like this on the back.

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