NEEDLEPOINT/CANVAS EMBROIDERY STITCH BOOKS

NdptBook.jpg - 10445 BytesThe Needlepoint Book by Jo Ippolito Christensen is THE book to have if you could only have one book on needlepoint techniques (as if we book collectors could stop at just one book!). The first 132 pages cover basic information such as materials, blocking and finishing. The remainder of the book consists of instructions for 350+ different stitches, classified into appropriate categories. All stitches are clearly diagrammed, and are also shown in photographs as they appear in finished form. A chart at the beginning of each section lists the characteristics of each stitch (i.e., fast, slow, snag-proof, distorts, etc.). There is no such thing as a single book that "has it all" but this one certainly does come close. This is the long-awaited revised version of this classic book.

This revised edition contains a number of stitches not in the first edition (Criss-Cross Hungarian, Nobuko stitch, and stitches developed by Jean Hilton such as the Jessica and Walneto come to mind). Also, if you were bothered by the "dated" photographs in the first book, you will probably enjoy seeing some more recent samples (which, at the risk of offending some people, will no doubt themselves look dated in the future). If you have been perfectly happy with your old edition, you probably don't need the new one - at least, not until you wear out the one you already have!

The Needlepoint Book (1999, 428 pages, paperback) $25.00

 
AtoZndpt.jpg - 7292 BytesA-Z of Needlepoint by Country Bumpkin is not the most comprehensive needlepoint book in terms of the number of stitches it covers, but it is an excellent guide to approximately 65 different stitches, including many common stitches. Where this book excels, as with all the other A-Z stitch books by this publisher, is in the clear, step-by-step photographs with written directions that illustrate how to execute all steps of a stitch, rather than assume a single diagram is enough. For me, a litmus test of how clearly a book explains how to do a stitch is the explanation of the turkey work stitch (in this book called "Rya Stitch", although it is cross-referenced in the index under the name Turkey Work). This book has an excellent illustration of this as well as many other popular stitches. Designed to lie open flat during use, we highly recommend this book.

A-Z of Needlepoint (2005, 128 pages, wirebound paperback) $35.00

 
suzyssmall.jpg - 3863 BytesSuZy's Small Stitches by SuZy Murphy is divided into 6 sections: tent stitches, straight stitches, diagonal stitches, cross stitches, round and square stitches, and pattern stitches. Every page has a helpful hint or comment on needlework at the bottom. Each stitch is diagrammed and also illustrated with a photograph (but diagrams are not always numbered with the stitching sequence). A few suggestions are also made as to the possible uses of each stitch. Alternate names are given for some of the stitches.

The author of this book herself states, "Without a doubt all the things in this book can be found in other sources." But what she doesn't say is that they won't be found in other books in quite the same presentation as in this book. Many of our customers feel that this book is a welcome addition to their existing libraries.

SuZy's Small Stitches (1998, 162+ pages, wire-bound paperback) $37.95

 

suzyssurprize.jpg - 8759 BytesSuZy's Surprize Stitches is a new book of needlepoint stitches by SuZy Murphy, author of SuZy's Small Stitches. This book begins with additional "small" stitches, followed by stitches categorized as Cross Stitches, Diagonal Stitches, and Straight Stitches. Many (perhaps even most) of the stitches in this book appear in other sources; the way they are presented however makes the book "user-friendly" in that the stitch diagram, stitch description, and black-and-white photograph of the actual stitch all appear on a single page, so that you don't have to flip back and forth as in some books (while other books do not even have actual stitch photographs, only diagrams). As with her previous book, at the end of this book are pages of stitch samplers of the stitches in the book, this time in color. Dual indexes, one for stitches, another for effects, appear at the end of the book. A useful addition to your library.

SuZy's Surprize Stitches (2001, 172 pages, wire-bound softcover) $37.95

 
SuzyMini.jpg - 9069 BytesSuZy's Mini Stitches by SuZy Murphy is divided into 5 sections: straight stitches, cross stitches, diagonal stitches, round and square stitches, and pattern stitches. Every page has a helpful hint or comment on needlework at the bottom. Each stitch is diagrammed and also illustrated with a photograph (but diagrams are not always numbered with the stitching sequence). A few suggestions are also made as to the possible uses of each stitch. Alternate names are given for some of the stitches.

Stitches in this book expand on and are different from the stitches in the author's other books.

SuZy's Mini Stitches (2008, 154 pages, wire-bound paperback) $39.95

suzyslite.jpg - 7666 BytesSuzy's Lite Stitches is a new needlepoint stitch book by SuZy Murphy. The use of the word "lite" in the title refers to stitching that does not totally cover a painted canvas, whether because the thread used is thinner than a normal thread, or the stitch chosen leaves part of the canvas uncovered, or both. The book is divided into chapters by stitch construction: Straight Stitches, Diagonal Stitches, Cross Stitches, Pattern Stitches and Stars and Eyelets. The format for this book is the same as her previous books (SuZy's Small Stitches, SuZy's Surprize Stitches, and SuZy's Darn Stitches) in that there is one stitch to a page. Each stitch is charted (but not necessarily numbered to indicate the best sequence in which to stitch) and suggestions are made as to possible uses of the stitch. Helpful hints or comments are made at the bottom of each page. At the end of the book, color pages with photographed examples of all the stitches appear; as do two indexes: one an index by stitch name, and the second an index by suggested effects (such as sky, water, etc.).

SuZy's Lite Stitches (2004, 157 pages, wirebound softcover) $39.95

 
suzysdarn.jpg - 8104 BytesSuZy's Darn Stitches by SuZy Murphy is the second book by this author. It consists entirely of darning stitch patterns. If you don't know what darning patterns are (or the technique, which is known as pattern darning), it consists of stitching done by counting over and under a certain number of threads in a pattern row by row, horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Some patterns end up totally geometric while others make images of recognizable objects (i.e. a Christmas tree). Pattern darning is reversible (or can be if done carefully), with the reverse image being the opposite of the image on the front. For example, if the front has the Christmas tree in thread, with bare canvas between trees, on the back you will see the Christmas tree shape as bare canvas, with thread in between the trees. As this book is offered as a needlepoint book (although its uses are not limited to needlepoint) it is unlikely that needlepointers will take advantage of the reversibility, except that every pattern can be done in two ways - so you can choose which part of your pattern darning you want to show up as thread, and which part as bare canvas.

SuZy's Darn Stitches (2000, 128 pages, wirebound softcover) $32.95

 
SuzysPortable.jpg - 3385 BytesSuZy's Portable Stitches by SuZy Murphy is a portable small book with stitches taken from her books SuZy's Small Stitches and SuZy's Surprize Stitches. Stitches are organized by type (small, cross, straight, etc.) and are diagrammed with numbers, but to save space and keep the book small, this book includes no photographs of actual stitching or suggestions on how to use them.

SuZy's Portable Stitches (Undated, 120 pages, wirebound softcover) $25.00

 
stitchersforeffect.jpg - 4434 BytesStitches for Effect by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson is a book of decorative stitches that can be used on painted canvases. In addition to stitch information, the book also contains information on threads (it has a lot of references to what I consider novelty threads, which in years to come may well disappear). There are four different indexes: a thread index, a stitch index, an effect index and a general index, to make it easier to find what you are looking for.

Stitches for Effect (1996, 65 pages, wirebound paperback) $28.50

 
morestitches.jpg - 3452 BytesMore Stitches for Effect by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson expands on the first book. In addition to descriptions of many of the currently available threads, it has charts which suggest thread weights on various canvas meshes and fabrics. Then a number of stitches are given that augment those in Stitches for Effect. Like the first book, there are multiple indexes.

More Stitches for Effect (1997, 79 pages, wirebound paperback) $31.50

 
evenmorestittches.jpg - 4534 BytesEven More Stitches for Effect by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson is the third title by these authors. In this book they have updated thread information and embellishment information published in their previous books. The new book also contains a comprehensive "Effect" index (i.e., suggestions for stitching specific items or to achieve specific effects) that includes all stitches in all three books, not just the latest (I guess that means you had better own Volumes 1 and 2 if you don't want to be frustrated using the index in Volume 3!). The new book includes over 100 stitches, and this time some of the stitches are larger than those that have appeared in the previous 2 books. The stitches appear in the book in alphabetical order. This book tends to have some more unusual stitches and stitch combinations than a lot of the needlepoint stitch books, so you will surely find some new ideas (and FINALLY they have included the criss-cross hungarian stitch which should be in ANY book of needlepoint stitches, in my opinion).

Even More Stitches for Effect (2000, 87 pages, wirebound paperback). $33.50

 
stitchestogo.jpg - 3263 BytesStitches to Go by Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson is a small format book designed to be taken on trips or to workshops. This book contains ALL the stitch diagrams (but none of the suggestions as to how to use them) that appear in the three books Stitches for Effect, More Stitches for Effect and Even More Stitches for Effect. Stitches are listed in alphabetical order. The book is only 64 pages and measures about 8 1/2" x 5" and weighs very little - perfect for throwing in a purse, a tote bag or your carryon luggage. Please note that this is designed as a stitch book for needlepoint/canvas embroidery rather than a comprehensive book for all needlework techniques.

Stitches to Go (2004, 64 pages, wirebound softcover) $22.00

 
knots.jpg - 7679 BytesKnots, Fur & Turkey Work by Meredith Barnhill Willett and Beth Robertson is a slim book (especially considering the fact the pages are printed on only one side) but it contains a wealth of information on creating very textured stitches on canvas. There is no reason the stitches must be done only on canvas, but all the illustrations in the book are on canvas. In addition to common stitches, it also includes several that are rarely diagrammed or explained. The book is divided into three main categories: knots, fur and turkey work (hence the title!). The book is well illustrated, with clear color photographs that show samples, as well as black and white numbered stitch diagrams. As many of the stitches in this book are known by more than one name, it helpfully lists alternate names for many of the stitches. As many needlepointers know, it is always a challenge finding good stitches for beards, fur and other similar areas, and this book offers many alternatives.

Knots, Fur & Turkey Work (2005, 34 pages, wirebound softcover) $32.00

 
encyclcanvas.jpg - 11670 BytesThe Ultimate Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery, Volume One by Jane Zimmerman contains 385 different needlepoint stitches. Stitch types in this book consist of mosaic, cashmere, scotch, gobelin, eyelet and plaited stitches, with numerous variations of each. Stitches are illustrated with both drawn diagrams (with stitch sequences numbered in most cases) and black and white photographs of completed stitches. This is a VERY comprehensive book.

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery, Volume One (2005, 165 pages, wirebound paperback) $45.00

 
ultimateency2.jpg - 10493 BytesThe Ultimate Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery, Volume Two by Jane Zimmerman contains 433 different needlepoint stitches. Stitch types in this book consist of diagonal, crossed, woven, tied and miscellaneous stitches. Some of the stitches in Volume One appear in Volume Two, but in different variations. Stitches are illustrated with both drawn diagrams (with stitch sequences numbered in most cases) and black and white photographs of completed stitches.

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery, Volume Two (2008, 175 pages, wirebound paperback) $48.00

 
canvasbandsborders.jpg - 6973 BytesCanvas Work Bands and Borders by Jane D. Zimmerman is just what the title says, a book of bands and borders that can be stitched on needlepoint canvas, using traditional canvas stitches. They are designed to cover the canvas completely, assuming that the correct weight of thread to cover adequately is chosen (there are some exceptions to this in an appendix containing darning patterns). The bands and borders are grouped according to the type of stitches used; included are a number of Florentine/Bargello embroidery patterns.
Canvas Work Bands and Borders (1999, 157 pages, wirebound paperback) $34.95
 
traditionalsilk.jpg - 7785 BytesTraditional Silk and Metal Thread Techniques on Canvas by Jane Zimmerman contains a brief history of silk and metal thread embroidery, a technical section on materials, and continues with a large number of patterns (more than 320) which may be stitched on the even grid of a needlepoint canvas. Detailed instructions are also included for stitching two samplers which will allow you to explore some of the techniques covered in the book.

Traditional Silk and Metal Thread Techniques on Canvas (1995, 199 pages, wirebound paperback) $37.95

 
fatherb.jpg - 3849 BytesFather B's 21st Century Book of Stitches by Robert Blackburn is the 6th edition of this book (originally titled Father B's Book of Stitches). The new edition expands the number of stitches by more than 100. This book includes many old, tried-and-true stitches as well as some unusual stitch combinations. As a general rule, diagrams are only of the completed stitches with no numbering sequences given. You will find some more unusual stitches in this book than in most of the other needlepoint stitch books.

Father B's 21st Century Book of Stitches (2000, 350 pages, wirebound paperback) $30.00

 

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