i have a few technical questions for those of you who cross-stitch.

1. is it possible at all to use aida (any count) for designs that involve making full or half-crosses using a single strand, as opposed to two? a single thread does not settle on the fabric as neatly as a double one would. if it is not too tight, it will just bulge over the fabric (and then, if pressed down accidentally during framing, it will look lax, as if the stitches are disintegrating). but if it is too tight, it distorts the fabric by enlarging the holes and making the rows of stitches very uneven.

(see, for instance, designs nr. 35131 and 35132 from here: http://www.lanarte.com/default.asp?A...PID=HOMEGARDEN )

2. what do you do about designs that require multiple single stitches, or small groups of two to four stitches, in a wide variety of colors? the only way to avoid the strand ends at the back turning into a fluffy mess is to cut them close to the fabric, which i do. but then the stitch is likely to be distorted by the stitches nearby, because the needle may move the thread from its proper place, making it bulge or become frayed. even if i pull it out and redo the stitch again, it usually still does not look right. and there is this residue left which consists of separate fibers, regardless of my efforts to clean the design - they are barely noticeable but do make a huge difference to the design as a whole.

3. has anyone tried to use dmc linen thread on 16-count aida? i have tried that with small designs, the result invariably looks enticing and neat at first, but then deteriorates as soon as i need to start another group of stitches that will involve moving the needle in the opposite direction. the thread bulges very prominently where the stitches meet and there appears to be no way to smooth it out again (unlike cotton).

any advice would be greatly appreciated.