Carole H. Lake, 2017, ISBN: 978-0-9971066-3-3
In the last couple of days I have been thinking about why we need books like this one, Carole Lake’s newest. I have been working on a new piece and I was trying to think of stitches to use. I know lots of stitches and I have lots of books with even more stitches in them.
Sitting in my stitching chair, I had two sources outside my memory for stitches. I could look at the needlepoint books on my phone or look at the large stitch book near my chair. Neither was satisfying. The stuff on my phone was either too complicated or too open. The stuff in the book was just, mostly, the wrong kind of stitches.
What did I want? A book that was small enough to fit into a project bag and not be too heavy. A book that had stitches that pretty much any stitcher could do. Finally, I wanted a book that would give me practical advice but that wouldn’t bog me down with too much information. And if it had large, clear diagrams that would make it perfect.
Until earlier this month, I wished in vain for this book. I have books that have some of these qualities, but there was never one that had them all.
But Carole Lake has come up with the perfect solution. Her newest book is small, 5×8, thin, less than 40 pages, and packed with just the facts.There is no Table of Contents or index. The stitches are in alphabetic order. While some of the stitches may not have the names you use, they are still easy to find.
Each stitch is covered with a page, with a few using two pages. At the top of the page you will find a clear, numbered diagram of the stitch. The diagrams are all black-and-white and are easy to understand. In some cases several variations of the stitch are shown in the diagram. The name of the stitch is vertical on the outside edge of the page, making the book easy to flip through.
Below the diagram you’ll find notes about the stitch. The name of the stitch always begins these notes and is in bold type. The notes are full of useful information including history, alternative names, and ideas for where and how to use the stitch.
It’s written in a friendly approachable style and can be understood by stitchers at every level.
Beginning the book is a short preface with tips and ideas for creating stitch variations. There is also a one-page tutorial on Basketweave.
It’s a fantastic book. If you are a beginner this will teach you so much. If you are an experienced stitcher you’ll learn things as well. But for every stitcher it deserves a place near where you stitch most often. I’m putting my copy there right now!