Updated June 30, 2020.
I’ve got all of Ruth’s books, in most formats, but this is by far the best. Big and spiral-bound, the book covers over 290 stitches.
It’s a “just the facts ma’am book,” with no text. The stitches are arranged by alphabetical order by stitch type (diagonal straight, cross, etc.). There is also a consolidated alphabetical index in the back of the book.
One stitch is diagrammed on each page with large clear diagrams. While some stitches only have one diagram, many have more than one. These multiple diagrams might show several rows of the stitch or they might show the steps of a multi-step process.
If beads are used, they are drawn as beads, showing you how to attach them for this stitch. If stitches cross or overlap, you can see that easily.
Most, but not all, stitches have numbers. That’s the one flaw I see in the book and it’s a minor one. For most unnumbered stitches the stitch sequence doesn’t matter.
There is a wealth of stitches here, many of which I haven’t found in any other book. My copies of Ruth’s books have post-it notes and tons of dog-eared pages marking stitches I want to try. Because I have them all as apps on my phone, they are my go-to stitch dictionaries when I travel.
Shortly after the printed book came out in 2013, the app came out. Based on iOS it will work on iPads, iPhones, and iPods. In the apps you can get an alphabetical listing of the stitches or you can view the diagrams by stitch family. (The post picture comes from the app). If it’s like the apps for the earlier volumes, it will be easy to use.
I’m looking forward to more in the series because these books are a great resource and a wonderful value, especially in the world of overpriced needlepoint books.
Go out and buy the app if you can, the book if you can’t or both — I’m so glad I did!
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
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