Finger Step Designs, 2013, distributed by Custom House
The project packs and books from Finger Step are always such a pleasure. They do a fantastic job of giving you inventive ideas for needlepoint stitches, presented in away that’s clear and easy to understand.
As long as you can read a stitch diagram and know a few stitches, you’ll find this volume helpful. It begins with a short (three pages) discussion of what stripes are in general and what that means for needlepoint. Not only does this section talk about stripes, it includes two small stitched samples showing different stripes and it includes the stitch diagrams for each of the stripes. With them a beginner can easily see how a striped pattern where the width changes is different than one where the slant changes.
After this come the patterns, five in all, that use stripes in the designs. All but one have instructions in the pack. You’ll find a broad selection of techniques here from charted canvas to line-drawn designs. Each includes material lists and diagrams of all stripes used. For more complex designs the thread colors used are printed on the pattern itself, making it easy to know what threads to use. Helpfully the number of the pattern used in each area is on the it as well. These numbers correspond to the diagrams in the project pack. With 86 stripes charted that’s lots of inventiveness.
While the majority of stripes are simple, including some Tent and Gobelin stripes, not every stitch pattern is easy to stitch. When more complex stitches are used, either practice them on a doodle canvas or substitute another pattern — there are plenty.
Because the book is project-based, the stitches are charted to fit the specific areas where they occur. This can be a problem when the areas have slanted sides. Al though I’m very comfortable with stitch diagrams, there was at least one triangular patch where I cannot figure out the stitch. In these cases a doodle cloth will be very helpful as well.
It’s another wonderful source of great stitches from this inventive designer.