You can’t beat this beginner’s book for the price. This book diagrams 21 stitches, including basketweave, suggests uses for each stitch and refers you to a color model that uses that stitch. The second half of the book features 12 canvases shown in color, both stitched and unstitched. The best part of this book, though, is the collection of helpful hints scattered throughout the book. The beginner will find all sorts of hints that will prevent mistakes most of us learned about the hard way. Spiral bound in paperback, this book’s small size (6” x 8”) makes it the perfect companion for your project bag.

After Needlepoint 101 came Needlepoint 202. I based a class on this book and found it to be chock-full of great stitches and models. My students got the book with the class and many bought extra copies to give to friends.

The book features 12 techniques—beading, couching, knots, padding, ruching (my favorite), Santa’s hair and beard stitches, thread blending, thread painting, tufted stitches, twisted cord and wrapped cord. (As they say in those television commercials)… But wait, that’s not all. The authors have diagrammed 42 stitches that are shown on the 12 color models, all of them current canvases. Each of the models is photographed in color before and after stitching. AND each model comes with the stitch guide. If you love the canvas, you can order it and use the book for the stitch guide. The photographs of the stitched models are very clear and definitely give you ideas for your projects.

This book is also a spiral-bound and small, so it is very portable. My only complaint is that the layout of the book is not easy to figure out—the authors placed the model/stitch guide and stitch sections in the middle of the 12 techniques. A small complaint for another reasonably priced book with lots of great ideas. Both books are available on our website.