Mastering Specialty Stitches: A Comprehensive Guide

Mastering Specialty Stitches: A Comprehensive Guide

Cross stitching is a timeless craft that is cherished for its intricate designs and meditative process. While traditional cross stitches create beautiful patterns, mastering specialty stitches opens up a world of creative possibilities. In this comprehensive guide, we'll look at some advanced stitches favoured by designers and providing a step by step instructions to help you elevate your cross stitching game.

1. Smyrna Stitch

The Smyrna stitch is a fascinating blend of texture and dimension. It adds depth to your projects that makes them stand out. Here's how to complete this stitch:

  • Begin with a regular cross stitch on evenweave of 2 threads..
  • Instead of moving on to the next cross stitch, you need to make a plus stitch over the top.
  • Bring the needle up in the middle of the bottom of the stich and go down at the middle of the top of the stitch.
  • Then bring the needle up in the middle of the left side of the stitch and down in the middle of the right side of the stitch.

2. Rhodes Stitch

  • Begin your Rhodes Stitch with a single regular cross stitch. This will serve as the starting point for the rest of the stitches.
  • After completing the cross stitch, bring your needle up through the centre of the stitch.
  • Extend the arms of the cross stitch by making a stitch in each direction (up, down, left, and right). These stitches should be of equal length and should create a small square around the centre stitch.
  • Cross over the extended arms to create a diamond shape within the square. Bring your needle down through the fabric at a point that completes the diamond.

3. Jessica Stitch

  • Start with a cross stitch.
  • Bring your needle up between the arms of the cross.
  • Create a diagonal stitch across the arms of the cross, forming an 'X.'
  • Repeat this process, alternating the direction of the 'X' stitches.


Mastering specialty stitches elevates your cross-stitching projects to an art form. As you venture into these advanced techniques, embrace the learning process. Experiment with different fabrics, colours, and threads to truly make these stitches your own.

Remember, the key to mastery is practice. Start with small projects to get a feel for each stitch before incorporating them into more complex designs. Happy stitching!

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