Advanced and Specialty Stitches: More Than Just Cross Stitch

This is an article I’ve been wanting to write for a while! But once it won the Patreon poll, I was like “wait, what now?” How do I properly convey advanced stitches and specialty stitches in an article? Photos will only get me so far. And while I will TRY to describe them in text, it will probably be very confusing. So I commissioned a good friend to draw me up some examples for ya. I hope you love them as much as I do. Be sure to check out Zinthings‘ art if you want more cool stuff.

For now, on to the stitches! This is not an all encompassing list of stitches. Mainly the advanced stitches I see asked about a lot in our community. Plus some specialty stitches that come up if you venture into the more complex cross stitch designers. Basically anything besides your basic cross stitch.

I could easily have done a separate tutorial for each of these stitches…so I will! I started writing them all up in this article and it simply got to be too long and convoluted, so I’ve split it up into multiple articles. Use the below links to learn about each stitch.

But first! A primer on stitching “over 2”

Stitching “over 2”

This is not technically a type of stitch, but useful for working with all the other kinds of advanced and specialty stitches listed here. Having those extra holes to work with will make some of these advanced stitches easier to execute.

You can still do these stitches on 14 count though! My stitched examples are all done over 1 on 14, using a sharp needle to pierce the fabric when needed.

Advanced Stitches

First off, some stitches that aren’t really ‘specialty’ stitches, but are definitely more advanced than your standard cross stitch. You’ve probably seen most of these around already.


Quarter Stitches

Tent Stitch / Continental Stitch

Squat Stitches

French Knots or Beads

Specialty Stitches

Now we’re getting into the category of stitches that tend to be purely decorative in their own right. Some are a little more common than others. Many are used in the really advanced designers known for very detailed intricate designs. Haven’t seen any yet? We don’t see them often in the modern nerdy stitch space, but in more traditional venues. Let’s list a few for you:

Designers who use Specialty Stitches Frequently

  • Teresa Wentzler – One of my favorite designers. And a great example, as she offers a small free hummingbird pattern that incorporates several of the stitch types on this page!
  • Chatelaine – An amazing designer that has unfortunately passed away. She lives on in the patterns she designed over the years and is well known for using a lot of beading and specialty stitches. Especially in her Mandala designs.
  • FabyReilly – Known for their delicate floral designs, but has quite a lot to choose from. Including some freebies that use lazy daisies, backstitch, rhodes hearts, and more.
  • Victoria Sampler – A bit more kitchy, but definitely makes use of specialty stitches to add detail to their designs.
  • Shannon Christine – Literally the only example I could find for squat stitches

Now that you’ve seen some examples, let’s talk about some of the stitches:

Lazy Daisies

Smyrna Cross / Double Cross

Algerian Eyelet

Diamond Eyelet

Rhodes Stitch / Rhodes Heart

Jessica Stitch

I may add more to this list as time goes by, so let me know if there’s a particular stitch you’d like to learn more about!