Celtic Art in Cross Stitch Barbara Hammet
I just love Barbara’s two other books of cross stitch designs (Art Nouveau and William Morris), so I was delighted to see this new books. The book opens with a very good introduction about Celtic Art which looks at it from the point of view of design style and elements.
This is followed by ten chapters of projects related to each other by theme and color. For example, the chapter on La Tene (one of the earliest forms of Celtic art) consists of table linens including a beautiful tablecloth, napkins and coasters. In the instructions there is also information on varying these designs to make table toppers and runners.
For each project there is a full color picture of the completed stitching, a material list, a full-color chart and stitching instructions. A nice touch is the color chart which provides color numbers for the project for DMC, Anchor and Madeira threads. The number of skeins needed is also noted. This is so much simpler than having a conversion chart in the back of the book.
And if all these wonderful projects aren’t enough to get you excited, the book also has a fantastic Celtic Motif Library; 53 full color charts of borders, animals, geometrics and knotwork. Although charted in color, these designs can be combined and changed to suit your needs. In the notes at the beginning of the section, the patterns are divided into categories which show how they are related and each design is identified with a note about its source and some suggestions for using it.
The book ends with a chapter on materials and finishing.
Celtic design is one of the most evocative styles I have seen. But lovely as it is, it can be hard to adapt to needlework. Books like this outstanding one, which provide a wealth of designs and projects feed both the soul and the needle.