I've written in the past about how some books have that coffee-table-book "ooh factor" and others are almost textbook-like in their knowledge-crammed reference-book nature. Well, The Needlecraft Stitch Directory by Sarah Whittle is one of the latter.
This quality hardback is divided into two sections - a "style directory" and a "stitch directory".
The style directory introduces over 50 different needlecraft styles - with information about their history, and a guide to the fabrics, threads, needles, other equipment, common applications and related stitches relevant to each style. It's quite text heavy but there are some small photos to illustrate each style, featuring work from lots of different contemporary stitchers.
It was nice to recognise the work of some of my fellow crafty bloggers, including Sami and Kajsa, and there's a list of links at the back of the book for each contributor so if you fall in love with someone's style you can easily explore more of their work.
Then the stitch directory explains how to work each stitch, with step by step diagrams and text explaining the method and a guide to the uses, fabrics, related techniques for each stitch (plus page numbers for similar stitches).
There are a few photos of the finished stitches on the chapter pages but mostly the stitches are just illustrated by the diagrams. These are very clear but it's a shame not to have a photo of each finished stitch as well. Having said this though, I much prefer this way of doing things to another embroidery book I own where the finished stitch photos are very inspiring but the how to diagrams are limited in number and consequently very confusing!
I don't know about you, but I'd definitely like to add some new stitches to my repertoire and I think this is a title I'll be returning to again and again over the years.
I'm also very pleased to say that the nice folks at Jacqui
Small are giving away a copy of The Needlecraft Stitch Directory to one lucky reader
in the UK. Pop back tomorrow for the giveaway :)
The Needlecraft Stitch Directory is published by Jacqui Small. RRP £20. It's available from Amazon UK, The Book Depository and many other bookshops. (An American edition of this book is also available from Amazon USA under the title The Needlecraft Style Directory)
[Disclaimer: Jacqui Small sent me a free review copy of this book, and the
Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]