by SuZy Murphy, self-published ( distributed by Rainbow Gallery). ISBN 0-9701330-3-0
SuZy Murphy has done it again! She’s come up with a wonderful stitch guide to another facet of needlepoint. SuZy’s Lite Stitches, her fifth book, covers stitches for covering a canvas lightly.
In the introduction to the book, Murphy describes lite stitches as stitches which “let the canvas show through.” These stitches are ideally suited to highly shaded hand-painted canvases. In this section she describes the two main ways of making a stitch lite. The first is by creating a stitch which leaves open canvas. A section on creating new stitches from old favorites demonstrates several ways to do this. Another way to create a lighter stitch is by using a fine thread and a regular stitch. The lite coverage is ideal for this kind of stitching. Finally Murphy suggests that lite stitches work well for backgrounds.
The Introduction also covers methods to be used for anchoring threads, suggestions of threads to use and ways to frame the piece. This short section is a wonderful overview of this technique.
As always, Murphy divides her book into sections organized by stitch family, with one stitch per page. Each stitch is diagrammed, sometimes with several variations, and pictured. Text describes how to make the stitch correctly. This is especially good because stitch direction is important to the look of this technique. At the bottom of each page is one of Murphy’s witty tips or observations.
In addition to the model pages which show a sample of each stitch in the book, there is a section of finished models showing these techniques. Each uses a hand-painted canvas as the starting point. With these examples, the variety of lite stitching really comes through.
Another wonderful edition is the Effects Index, found at the end of the book. This index takes types of items, grass for example, and lite stitches which are well suited for it.
I have long wanted to learn more about this technique and to try it. SuZy’s book is a wonderful introduction as well as a rich source of stitch ideas.