For their first Coffee & Crafts event at the Dutchtown Library on October 17, they began to teach people how to cross-stitch. Most of the attendees were new to the craft, and it was Anita Manning's first time teaching a group of people how to cross-stitch.

For many, painting, drawing, or something like cross-stitching can be a way to relieve stress.

Cross-stitching can be a means to personalize many things like bibs, towels, coasters, blankets, and more. There are also wooden and plastic hoops that can help hold your pieces, which allow you to see the holes better. However, the square, plastic snap-ons are liked by many because it does not leave an imprint on the fabric like the wooden ones would.

For their first Coffee & Crafts event at the Dutchtown Library on October 17, they began to teach people how to cross-stitch. Most of the attendees were new to the craft, and it was Anita Manning's first time teaching a group of people how to cross-stitch. Manning is part of the library staff.

Library staff person Ashley Lee was also there to help with the event. "We have many books on cross-stitching besides the ones on our table today," she said. "You can also find many of them online on our database, and it's completely free."

The event began with a lesson on how to cross-stitch, with an emphasis on always making x's with the thread. Aside from that, you just need fabric (which was pre-made for the class), a needle, some thread, and a pattern.

Needle sizes depend on what you're most comfortable with. During the class, a size 24 needle was used, which is on the bigger size. That is easier for beginner use. If you are a little more experienced, and can work with a smaller needle, a size 28 needle would work just fine.

"Cross-stitching isn't very difficult," Manning said. "All you really need to be able to do is have the ability to count to twelve."

Once they moved onto threading, they had to break up a single piece of thread into smaller pieces. Within the big piece are six smaller pieces of thread. When cross-stitching, you only use two strands of thread at a time.

"Try not to buy cheap thread, because it will usually knot and fade. DMC is a good quality of thread, and that's what I usually use," Manning said.

The pre-made bookmark fabric that was used at the event was 14-holes-per-inch, which has holes that are bigger and easier to see, making it better for beginner use.

Another thing to remember is to let your needle and thread hang for a few moments after you have been cross-stitching for a while. Over time, the thread begins to wind itself up, which ends up giving you less thread to work with if you don't let it unwind itself.

The first class was mostly about learning how to work cross-stitching. A second class will be held October 24, beginning at 10 a.m. This way, the attendee's can finish making their cross-stitched bookmarks, and they will have some hard work that they can take home.

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