Even if you have been cross stitching for awhile, you may not really get it when people say they stitch over one, or stitching over two. Today, I'm going to try to help make it all make sense. I created this image, in the hopes that it is pretty self explanatory:
When you look at cross stitch fabrics, they have little holes that make up a grid. As you can see from the above image, stitching over one is when your floss goes over grid square on your fabric, and stitching over two is when the floss goes over two grid squares on your fabric.
Now, you might be asking when should you stitch over one and when to stitch over two. Stitching over two is normally done on higher count fabrics like 28ct Cashel Linen.
Let's say you have a pattern designed for 14ct but you want to stitch it on a 28ct linen. If you stitch over two, your finished project will be the same size that the original 14ct pattern called for. This is because 14 is half of 28, so by stitching over two on 28 you are doubling the size. You could still use the same 14ct pattern and stitch over one on a 28ct fabric, your final project will just be half the size of the same project done on 14ct fabric. Put simply, stitching over two doubles the size of the finished piece.
I'm going to go one step further and explain what stitching "two over one" or "one over two" means. We now know what over one, over two represents, and the first number is just the number of strands of floss to use. So, when someone says "I stitched it two over one" they mean they used two strands of floss and stitched over one on the grid.
I hope this helps, and even gives you some clarity on using higher count fabrics! If you are looking for a video tutorial on this, I highly suggest Peacock and Fig over on YouTube.
Personally, I have never stitched over two, but I really want to try out some of my patterns on different fabric counts, so stay tuned for those WIP posts! What is your favourite fabric count to stitch on? Do you stitch over two? I'd love to hear about your process, let me know in the comments!