Updated January 21,2020.
I must admit that in looking at the Table of Contents of this book, I was skeptical. The most useful stitch dictionaries I have used classify stitches by stitch family.
Sharon takes a different approach and one that makes lots of sense. She divides her stitches into groups: stitches for small areas, stitches with no strong direction, and stitches with diagonal direction.
Reflecting on it, I realized that this is how most stitchers (including me) think about and pick stitches. While sometimes I say “I want a cross stitch here.” Mostly I say “This area is so tiny, what can I put in such a small space.”
So a book organized this way is just fantastic. It’s also an incredibly practical approach for beginners. Sharon has picked a nicely edited selection of stitches (this is the first in a series of books) that would give a beginner enough variety to create lots of great canvases, but not so many stitches as to be overwhelming.
Even so, I wasn’t sure I agreed with how she classified some stitches, especially the ones with no strong direction. So I decided to use one of them, Alternating Cashmere, for the background of this Art Nouveau Iris from Art Needlepoint.
I usually think that Cashmere, like other box stitches has an obvious grid, so I’d say it had strong vertical and horizontals. But I was surprised at how the small alteration of direction on this piece, subdued the grid and indeed created a piece with no strong direction.
I’m looking forward to the next volume and highly recommend it.
This book is spiral bound and available in needlepoint shops. It’s distributed by Fleur de Paris.