Julia Key H. Snyder, self-published, 2023, 96 pages.
Although it’s been a few years since Julia wrote a book, this new volume has information about lots of new techniques to improve your needlepoint. You’ll find this book to be in a familiar format. It’s tall and skinny and will easily fit in many project bags. There is one stitch per page. The stitches and techniques are in alphabetical order with an index of them at the back.
It’s really nice that the book covers techniques like wrapping, showing them used on many stitches. It’s also great to see the different ways to make Spider Web explained, even if some of the explanations are incomplete. It makes these useful stitches accessible to most stitchers.
Beading ideas are integrated throughout the book. Several types of beading are clearly explained, and some stitches are diagrammed to show beads incorporated into the stitch. I like that I can have all this information in one place.
Unhappily, in addition to these stitches and techniques that are next level, the book is populated with very basic stitches. You’ll find pages devoted to Brick, Reverse Tent (both with different names), and other simple stitches taken from Julia’s other books. On one page, QR codes even direct readers to information on threading needles and other basics. To me, these things do not have a place in a book calling itself Next Level Stitches.
New to this title are QR codes at each page’s bottom. In a few cases, the stitching notes say that the code goes to a video showing how to make the titch, but in almost all cases, there is nothing that gives the reader a clue about what’s there. While I appreciate Julia’s efforts to go beyond the physical bounds of the book, I question whether it’s necessary for every stitch and if it is used widely enough by needlepointers to be worthwhile.
While this title has faults, there is great information here. It will be especially useful to intermediate and advanced stitchers as well as those who want to include unusual techniques in their projects.