Updated December 8, 2023.
Have you ever thought about letters just as shapes, not as sounds?
In Alphabetrics, the follow-up book to Alphagraphics (reviewed here), Jinis takes letters and uses them as shapes.
Each letter has three treatments: a linear pattern suitable for a belt or border, four large capital letters arranged as a 40-stitch square motif, and a repeating patterns, usually of capital letters.
Being a book from the 70s, the charts are hand-colored on blue-line graph paper. Even so they are clearer than many and easy to follow. Also typical of the period they are all multi-color patterns.
Today we’d be far more likely to stitch them in contrasting textures of the same color or more closely related colors. Even so, you’ll be glad of the brighter colored pencil charts when you are stitching.
Some of these patterns are so great and are such subtle reminders of the letters, that you could just use them as they are. For example, ‘S’ has a Celtic knot look about it, while ‘I’ has an open pavement feel.
Paging through the book I kept thinking of great ideas for these patterns. Why not make a birth sampler with a top and bottom border of initials and the information between them? How about pretty Christmas ornaments using the initial motifs? On 18-mesh they would be less than 2.5″ square. Try the repeating background if you want a cool background for a bold initial. I’m sure you can come up with several more.
These patterns alone make the book very worthwhile, but there’s more here.
Behind these graphic designs there are five alphabets with both upper and lowercase, ranging in size from 13 to 24 stitches high. This is followed by two pages of sample monograms. These give you some ideas for combining three letter into a great graphic statement. The final two pages give you some examples of ways to use the patterns elsewhere in the book.
I love the idea of using one initial for the background and the second initial for the focal point. I’d make the focal point bigger and bolder, but this is a neat way to use personalization.
She also shows two initial belts and backgrounds. Not all initials will combine this way, but this is a great idea!
This book was published in 1974 and is only available on the used book market. While not uncommon, you will find it less often the Alphgraphics. I bought my copy on eBay, where copies in good and very good condition are often available.
Look for this book if you want a great source of easy but exciting needlepoint ideas.