Finger Step Designs, 2014, distributed by Custom House
Stitchers and designers have solved the problem of adding fabric-like patterns to needlepoint in many ways. Some use patterned stitches, others use complex color choices, still others just avoid the whole issue.
In spite of all this dotted patterns of various kinds mostly have eluded needlepointers.
That’s a shame because done in a single color, they can add nice texture. Done in two or more colors they add repeating patterns of various sizes to your stitching.
Susan Jones has addressed this problem beautifully in her newest book, Dots, Spots and Blocks. Not only has she created great stitch variations for dotted patterns of various kinds and sizes, she has added checked patterns, another great and often overlooked source of texture in needlepoint.
This book begins with a section on basics, followed by four sampler projects of various kinds. The one pictured here is on the cover. In addition there is a stained glass window sampler, a flower garden sampler, and a block sampler.
Since I’m not wild about charted canvas this didn’t excite me but the projects showcase the stitches well and are clearly presented.
But I turned the page and found stitching gold. I was so excited I wished I had not been in the car reading but at home so I could start to stitch.
There are 222 different stitch patterns presented here. Each has a black and white chart. The charts show the stitches very clearly and are done in two or three shades. Each one is numbered to make them easy to find when stitching the projects. Each one is also named, generally telling you the stitches that compose it.
One thing that intrigued me is that so many of theses stitches could be used in other ways to get subtler effects. Why not make patterns that use different stitches in just one color? That would create just a texture. For other patterns, use a matching color but a different texture? Then you’d have a needlepoint damask pattern that would make a lovely background.
With so many great stitches, four fantastic projects, and plenty of other ways to use the stitches, this is a great book for every stitcher.