Q&A March 2022 | S3E61

In this episode, I am answering some of your recent questions about cross stitch such as hoop tension, how to work on multiple projects at once and how to “stitch over 1”.

If you have a question you would like answered on the podcast just send it to hannah@hannahhandmakes.com with the subject line as “podcast question”.

Listen to the episode

*Affiliate link. If you click this link and buy I may earn a small commission but I only ever recommend things I have used and read/listened to myself.

Cross stitch questions

Hoop tension

“My question: I have a smaller embroidery hoop (one of those kind of like PVC pipe type ones that are supposed to be easier in your hands) so I need to move it a lot to finish a bigger project. Will that cause the tension in the stitches to be different? Asking because I finished a bigger project using the smaller hoop and when I tried to frame it, the finished work wasn’t straight. I also didn’t wash and block it so maybe that was the problem? Thanks in advance!! Angie”

I recommend washing your project and blocking it after, as Angie suggested herself. This can help get your fabric back to its original tension.

To prevent this from happening I also recommend not pulling your fabric too tight through the hoop; the more you pull on the aida/evenweave the more it distorts the weave under your stitches.

Also, this may rectify itself without washing your fabric when it comes to framing. If you are framing in a hoop, or another way where your fabric will be pulled taught again, you may find that your stitches go back to normal and straighten themselves out.

Stitching over 1

” Hello, How does one stitch over one thread?  What is the best method for doing this? Anne.”

Stitching over 1 is something that can only be done on evenweave or linen. Usually, on this type of fabric you stitch over 2 which means that instead of going diagonally across from one hole to the next, as you do on aida, you skip a hole. This means that your design will be the same size on 28 count evenweave as it would be on 14 count aida. There are also 2 thread of the fabric weave under your X.

To stitch over 1 you actually stitch the same on evenweave as you do on aida; go directly from one hole to the next. Then there is just 1 thread of the fabric weave under your X.

This makes your stitches very tiny and actually makes your design 4 times as small as it would be if you stitched over 2. This is because for every 1 X that stitch when you stitch over 2 you have 4 X’s when you stitch over 1.

I haven’t stitched over 1 before but I know others recommend a magnifying glass and good light. You can use 1 or 2 strands of thread.

I would actually love to try stitching using this method so maybe you will see a pattern and tutorial for stitching over 1 coming soon!

Multiple WIPs

“Could you discuss how to manage multiple WIPs so that none are neglected?” @thetinyneedle

I just neglect lol. I find if I tap into what I feel like stitching that day I always end up coming back around to projects I haven’t stitched in a while. BUT I know it’s annoying having unfinished designs.

You can try theming your days. I have a podcast episode about this which you can listen to here and it helps you fit different projects into your week.

You could also dedicate certain times of the day to certain projects. For example, stitch one before bed, one on your lunch hour, one in the morning. Or some are weekday projects and others are for the weekend.

I also recommend having a few project bags, a few needle minders and a few pairs of scissors so that you can bag up each project with the tools you need and just grab and go when even you have the time to work on one. This way you’re not wasting time moving your tools around for each different project.

You could then also scatter your projects around a little. Keep one in your office/workplace, one in the car, one in your bedroom, one in your bag, one in your living room etc, etc.

Self-care questions

Relaxing your mind

“What are your top tips for trying to relax/rest the mind?” @gablaah

The first step is to become aware of your thoughts. So much of the time we don’t even pay attention to what’s going on up there; it’s so habitual to just have the constant stream. Set reminders in your phone to Stop, Pause, notice what’s going on and just start to sort out what’s going on up there.

I love this practice too of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 thing you can taste. I heard that on the Next Right Thing Podcast but it’s a very old exercise.

For me, the one thing guaranteed to calm my mind is reading. It totally takes over my mind in a good way that it’s the only thing I’m focusing on and I love it. This is why I read before bed because it switches me off.

I also recommend looking into mindful and somatic practices to help you deepen this.


“How do I get the motivation to do my hobbies? I feel so much guilt for taking time for myself”. @lousierebecca13

I think guilt is the reason so many of us don’t take the time for ourselves. This goes back to becoming aware of your thoughts and in this case changing the narrative in your mind.

Whenever you start to feel guilty about taking time for yourself just say to yourself that you deserve the time for yourself instead. The more and more you repeat this the more your brain will start to accept it as truth and you will start to feel less and less guilty.

This does take time though. So for now you can also think about how you feel after taking time for yourself vs not taking time for yourself.

If you spent the day running around after everyone else without caring for you then I can bet that you ended the day feeling resentful and annoyed. Verses spending the day caring for yourself as much as others, you end the day feeling fulfilled and satisfied. How would you rather your days go?

There’s a quote that resonated with me a lot from Annie Dillard “how we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives”.

One more thing I like to do is imagine myself as a child. We all have an inner child who needs looking after. I think of her whenever I feel guilty and it really helps me make time for play and relaxing in my life.

I talk a lot about this in my programme Moon Cycle Self Care. Doors are currently closed but they will be back open in the Summer indefinitely so look out for that if you need more help with this.

Links mentioned

Extra episodes and posts

Pin for later

1 thought on “Q&A March 2022 | S3E61”

  1. Christina Coats

    Thank you for brilliant advice, I have a saying “Me time , makes me a Better Me Off to listen to your podcast.

Leave a Reply