tutorial: indian cross stitch

the stitch crossing rows (6 & 12) of indian cross stitch can be a bit sticky.  we’re showing you in pictures in case our written instructions don’t make any sense!


3XK: insert needle as if to knit, then wrap yarn 3 times around needle counterclockwise, and ‑finish the knit stitch


CO 24 sts (an 8 sts repeat); knit flat.

Row 1(WS) – 4(RS): K all.  This is pretty straight forward. The piece should look like this after you’ve finished Row 4:

Row 5: 3XK all.  See abbreviation section above.  The first 3XK stitch will look like the picture below:

Row 6: We’re breaking Row 6 into a few parts to make it easier to explain:

  • Step 1: *Sl8 sts, letting the extra loops drop to form 8 very long sts.  It looks like this:
  • Step 2:  Insert left-hand needle into the 1st four sts on right-hand needle and pass them over the second set of long sts as shown in the 2 photos below:

  • Step 3: Bring all 8 of these long sts onto left-hand needle

  • Step 4:  Knit the 8 sts (the 2nd half of the original 4 and then the original 4). Repeat from * to end.
It will look like the picture below when you’ve completed Row 6:
Row 7-10: K all.  After row 10, the piece looks like this:

Row 11: 3XK all
Row 12: You are creating the staggered pattern in this row. Begin by slipping 4 sts, letting the extra loops drop to form 4 very long sts. Cross 2 sts over 2 sts as in Row 6, and knit these 4. Next, *Sl8 sts, cross as in Row 6, knit as in Row 6, and repeat until the last 4 sts. For the last 4 sts, slip 4, cross 2 over 2 sts and then knit these last 4 sts.

The first 12 sts of Row 12 will look something like this:

Repeat Rows 1-12 for the pattern.

17 thoughts on “tutorial: indian cross stitch”

  1. Your instructions and photos for the Indian Cross Stitch are superb! I think the effect of the grey on white is very calming, which is very helpful with a tricky stitch. Thank you so much, Essange

  2. I’m finding it difficult to slide the 3XK stitch on left needle as these wraps tend to be very tight (and hazardous on my left hand). Can I just knit next stitch and then do the yarn over twice? Thanks.

    1. Lou: if you knit the stitch and then did a YO 2x after the knit stitch, you would end up with double the amount of stitches. if your wraps are too tight, we’d suggest doing the 3XKs around 2 needles (one smaller than the original) and then taking the 2nd needle out when you’re ready to slip the stitches. cheers!

  3. Thank you very much!
    This is beautiful and very easy to follow the instructions.Excellent photos.
    It would be too much to ask for help with the dragonfly stitch. I have problem to understand what to do with the pattern i have try many times using on differents ways the symbols, but no luck.
    Thanks again.

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