Currently Taking a Poll . . .

comments: 140


I posted this photo to Instagram this morning. I took it yesterday as I was working in my office making a master list of names, numbers, and symbols of all of the floss colors I use in my designs. Currently that's 116 different colors. We (well, Andy does this, not me) keep them on 500g cones and pull floss whenever we put kits together. I have never made a master list and it is NOW TIME. So I have been working on that, and it is annoying and tedious to get it all formatted and create all of the little swatches of color/symbol that I use in the key and it is taking me absolutely forever, but in the long run it is going to be brilliant for me to have this without having to reinvent the wheel every time so I soldier on. . . .

But, the question came up at Acorns and Threads the other day about whether "people" (i.e.: you) like black and white cross stitch charts


or whether they prefer symbols over color.

SymbolsOverColor Sample

I was quite astonished to find that all of the (four) people that I asked said they preferred black and white.

 (>ˆ0ˆ<) !!!!

So now I am quite curious. . . .

I have always done my charts in symbols over color, as you see in the second sample, because that is my personal preference. But now I truly want to know: Is it yours, as well? Do you like black and white charts that you can copy easily? Or do you prefer color? Tell me everything. I am listening. (And thank you if you have already left a comment on Instagram!)


Color! Always the color! I can't think in black and white. :)

Kimberly Wilson says: February 17, 2020 at 10:39 PM

I prefer color

Christine Underhay says: February 18, 2020 at 08:42 AM

I prefer the color chart!

I prefer black and white. They are easier to copy and I often do that so I can enlarge my patterns. I'm not getting any younger.

Cynthie Moon says: February 18, 2020 at 10:12 AM

I prefer the color with symbols myself.

I really do prefer color. I do not see the black and white at all. It is confusing and my eyes bounce all over the place. Also, it does not excite me to do the pattern. If a kit has black and white, I will not purchase it.

Please consider perhaps both, but please do not take away the color charts.

Also, I have tried multiple times to put my email into your search bar on your site. It will not take. This has been over a couple of years. Would you be able to do something about this?


I much prefer black and white. I think they are much clearer, companies producing large charts , eg. Heaven and Earth , Gecko rouge etc always use B/W to avoid any confusion caused by colour. Just my 2cents worth :-) .

Color. Those who prefer black and white can make a copy of the chart.

Sylvia Hildebrandt says: February 19, 2020 at 06:48 AM

I have always preferred black symbols backed with colored squares. Leisure Arts brand patterns were always in this style and I liked them. I do agree that making the patterns somewhat larger is actually a bigger wish.

I love the symbol over color! Old eyes really appreciate both!

Simone Pobega says: February 19, 2020 at 10:55 AM

Symbols on colour!

Black and white, please, so that I can blow up the chart and keep track of progress with highlighters.

Shelley Dionne says: March 09, 2020 at 08:07 PM

Color! If it's b/w, my vision is too poor to follow the chart. I do not buy patterns if they aren't in color.

Color is so much easier for me to see what part I’m working on now that I’m older, it’s a strain on my eyes to look at the black and white. The nice colors make it easier to look back and forth as you go and find the spot I left off with.
Thanks for asking!

Late to this one - I prefer black and white as I colour in the squares I have completed (with pencil!). However, I mostly do cross stitch where all, or most, of the canvas is stitched. If I were sewing kits like most of yours, with fairly discrete stitched areas on an unstitched background, I think I wouldn't have much opinion either way.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.