Stitch of the Week – Long Armed Cross Stitch

This week I thought I’d post Long Armed Cross Stitch as our Stitch of the Week since we’ll be using it in Part 3 of the Counted Thread Flag SAL.

Long armed cross stitch is worked in bands or rows, and is worked similar to a basic herringbone stitch with a few exceptions. These exceptions are that one leg of the stitch is longer than the other, and the stitches all touch each other at the corners.

To work the long armed cross stitch, bring your needle up through the fabric at the upper left (1) and take a diagonal stitch to the lower right (2). Bring the needle up again directly under the starting point of the first stitch (3), and make a stitch twice the with of the one you made as the first stitch, making a long arm (4). Bring the needle up through the fabric again two the left of your needle’s last insertion point (5), and insert the needle into the fabric directly under the insertion point of the second stitch (6). The needle then comes up again at the insertion point from the first stitch (7), and continues along until the row is the desired length.

Long Armed Cross Stitch Sample

When working the stitch on evenweave, like we’ll be doing for the Counted Thread Flag SAL, we’ll be spacing the stitches by counting the threads in the fabric. An example is shown above- I’ve worked the stitch over 4 threads for the short arm and over 8 threads for the long arm.

The same method applies when working this stitch on needlepoint canvas – count the threads in the canvas to space your stitches.

The long armed cross stitch can also be used as a filling stitch, by working multiple rows to fill an area. Here I’ve worked three rows – it makes a very textured filling!

If you want to neaten the ends of the stitch, you’ll need to work compensation stitches at each end. These are partial stitches that help fill in the open areas where open areas are not wanted. Examples of compensation stitches for Long Armed Cross Stitch will be shown in Part 3 of the flag.

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