Stitch Tutorials

Smyrna Cross: The Double Cross Stitch

This article is part of a series on Advanced and Specialty Stitches. Check the main article for a full list of stitches. This one is just about the smyrna cross.

What is the smyrna cross

The smyrna cross is more of a needlepoint stitch. You’re more likely to find it in designs made in yarn over canvas.

That said, I have seen it used a few times in cross stitch designs as decorative accents in borders. I’ve even seen individual smyrna crosses used as stars in a sky or as flowers.

Unfortunately I did not find any examples of the double cross stitch being used in a cross stitch design. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them in a Chatelaine, and in random samplers. But naturally when I went looking for them, I didn’t turn up much. Perhaps because it looks very similar to an algerian eyelet and designs may default to calling it that instead. If you have a good example, please let me know!

What I do have to show you though is that you could do an entire full coverage design in double cross stitch instead of your standard single cross stitch.

Such as this absolutely massive 198X167cm masterpiece by @perfhager.

Can’t see the double crosses? Let’s zoom in a bit. This is done with wool over canvas, but could just easily have been aida. Entirely made up of the smyrna cross. Seriously, go check out this guy’s work, it is amazing.

What does it look like in a pattern

These come in various sizes, but is typically done over 2. This way you have enough room to make both the standard x cross stitch and that overlapping + cross.

How to stitch a smyrna cross

Diagram Illustration by Zinthings

Simply put, you’re stitching a + and then putting an X over it. Or starting with an X and putting the + over that. Regardless which way you decide to do it, I recommend being consistent with it within a single piece.

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It looks similar to an algerian eyelet, but the main difference being that the eyelet all meets in the middle. Whereas the smyrna cross you’re stitching all the way across each time.

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