I’ve been working (= getting to play) on a couple of stitch guides, one for a La Patisserie hinged box and one for a patchwork Santa. I can almost find a stitch blind-folded in my usual library, so I’ve been playing with a couple of books, one new and one old. Both are new to me and I have to say they are like really fun textbooks—full of new twists on old standbys.

Written by Jane Zimmerman, they are “The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery”, volumes one and two. Volume one focuses on Mosaic, Cashmere, Scotch, Gobelin, Eyelet and Plaited stitches. Volume two features variations on Diagonal, Crossed, Woven, Tied and Miscellaneous stitches. Each stitch has a black and white photo of the model and a large clear diagram of the stitch. (The LARGE part is getting more important for some of us.)

I found a wonderful Straight Gobelin variation for a roof that looks a bit like graham crackers and a combination of tent and Cashmere stitches that will look just like pastry wafers with icing in between. For Santa, I’ve found at least 6 stitch variations that are not just the same old thing.

(PSSST: Santa, I want these for my library, please. You can buy them on our website.)