Julia Snyder, 2015
This book, Julia’s tenth, is a delightful introduction to the wide range of stitches and techniques found in her other books. Even if you have many of those volumes, get this book because it has some delightful surprises in it.
There are 150 stitches in all, grouped into several sections and presented in alphabetical order.
The first section has textured stitches of all kinds. Many of these are interesting variations on stitches you know already, such as Basketweave over a Stick. I’m excited to try them because I think they’ll give some great effects. There are also plenty of great stitches, such as a Cashmere-Tent variation.
The real strength of this section is the way it shows many shapes and sizes of various “string art” stitches, such as Rhodes, Crescent, or Sprat’s Head. Most stitchers I know hesitate with using these stitches when the shape is different. This book is invaluable for that.
This is by far the largest section of the book. Next needlepoint plaids are briefly covered. This is followed by sections that cover different effects with beads and silk ribbons.
Next comes a longer section that covers Blackwork patterns, followed by a selection of darning patterns. The final section has a good selection of simple patterns that combine Tent Stitches (or beads) with open canvas. These are suggested and work well as background stitches.
The book is delightful. My only complaint, and it’s true of all her books, is that the numbering for the stitches is too small to be seen easily. The main reason for this is that she puts the number inside the stitch symbols. That means they need to be small enough to fit and that the contrast may be low because it is a white number of a medium gray symbol. Skilled stitchers may have no problem with this, but if you are a beginner or if it is a tricky stitch, be prepared to enlarge the diagrams and add your own numbers.
If you haven’t tried one of Julia’s books, this is a perfect starter. If you have, get this book, you’ll find [plenty of surprises and add to the stitches that you use.