If working with 14 count Aida, there are 14 stitches per inch. The black X on the diagram represents one cross-stitch. The holes of the fabric line up with the vertical edges of the X. If you make a horizontal row of Xs to the right of the given X until you reach the one inch mark, there would be 14 Xs.
Because the counters are transparent you can see your threads/stitches or potential stitching place by looking through the counter (or above it if you like).
On the counters, the numbered markings for Aida (or an evenweave fabric stitched over two) are in bold type face and are labeled by 5's such as 5, 10, 15, 20, 25,...
If working on a 28 count evenweave fabric (such as linen), there are 28 threads per inch. The black dot on the diagram above represents one thread. If you make a horizontal row of dots to the right of the given dot until you reach the one inch mark, there would be 28 dots.
When working on evenweave fabric the stitcher can work over one thread or over two threads. Thus working on a 28 count evenweave fabric over two threads would produce the same number of stitches as using a 14 count fabric.
On the counters, the numbered markings for the threads of evenweave fabrics are numbered in regular type face and are labeled by 10's, such as 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, .....
When counting threads on an evenweave fabric
a) be sure the fabric is taught and
b) look for the lower left section of the vertical thread
(where we normally begin stitching over two on linen).
Your count should begin and end at this part of the thread intersections.
Now that you have learned how to count threads and stitches. Place the counter over the fabric so it lines up along the horizontal threads/stitches. Do this with each side of the counters until you find a vertical match for the threads or stitches.
Note: the scales included on the counters are 11, 14, 16, 18, 22, 28, 32, & 36.
Now that you have learned how to count threads and stitches, you can also convert design dimensions.
Question: I have a chart says the design is 56 stitches wide, how wide would this be with 14 stitches to the inch?
Answer: One way to figure this out visually is to draw a straight line using the edge of the counter. Make a pencil mark at the starting point (label it "a"). Use the counter labeled 14 count and align the pencil mark with the far left mark on the counter. Move the pencil along the ruler until you reach the 56. In this case be sure you are looking at the bold face type. Make another pencil mark at this point (label it "b"). You now have the distance of 56 stitches on 14 count fabric (4 inches).
We can also do the reverse and convert from the count of the fabric into the number of stitches.
You can compare the sizes of a design based on the thread/stitch count.
Question: 56 stitches on 14 count fabric is too big for the item I want to make. How big would it be if I used 18 count fabric instead?
Answer: Using the information diagramed from the first question. Switch to the counter labeled 18 count and align the far left mark on the counter with the point label "a" (from the answer in part 1). Move the pencil along the ruler until you reach the 56. In this case you are still looking at the bold face type (label this point "c"). You now have the distance of 56 stitches on 18 count fabric (just over 3 inches).
For this example point "c" should be closer to point "a" than point "b".
Hold up one of the counters to the frame (use the markings for the fabric count you would like to use) and see how many stitches will fit vertically and horizontally.
It is only 6.25" long! Small enough to carry along with any project.
Actual Size: 1.5 x 6.25" and 0.03" thick with rounded corners.