Originally posted 2009-07-28 07:02:30. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
I know this book has been out awhile and is very popular. I’ve not looked at it because I didn’t want to stitch the project. But I looked at it recently and have to say that it’s a disappointment.
In order to get enough out of the book to make it worth the cost, not only do you need to stitch the project, but you also have to be an experienced needlepointer, able to read stitch diagrams and also decipher a stitch from a sample. Why? Because every stitch is charted and many of the charts have mistakes in them so you need to do the stitch from the picture of the block.
The book says it has 247+ stitches, but far too many of them are simple variations of each other. This is fine when I’m using it as a guide to stitch the canvas, but limits its usefulness after. Without a guide or table to stitches and how they relate, how can I use this for another canvas? The two indexes there are include one with stitches to use for particular areas and another with a listing of stitches with the stitch and page numbers.
Information needed to stitch the canvas is sketchy as well. There is a table showing you thread types and colors, but no indication of amounts or where they are used. As a result, I am left completely to my own devices to decide which two blues are used for stitch 18 and which of the blue threads is used for stitch 26. Maybe I should just be willing to use whatever takes my fancy, but it might have been nice to have added a line telling me what the model used, since the picture of the block is right there.
There is a full color picture of the finished project after the thread table and then another table, with no explanation, that shows, I think, which stitch (by number) is used where. The stitches in the book seem to be put into the book with no rhyme or reason. Stitch 1 is in the upper left, stitch 2 is in the lower right, 3 is in the lower left, but where is stitch 4? It’s two thirds over in the middle. Having a variety of block colors on each page makes for a pretty book, but not a useful one. I’d hate to try to stitch the project from this book.
The diagrams are in color with two thread stitches being diagrammed in two colors. But often the diagrams are poorly drawn or have obvious mistakes I opened the book to a page at random; there are three stitches diagrammed. One stitch is correct. Another one has stitches that charted so that if you didn’t already know the stitch, you couldn’t know how it was made. There is no text to help me with the stitch, so I can’t even try to figure it out. The third stitch has colors and stitch outlines that don’t line up, making it look like the stitch is vibrating there on the page. Many pages have mistakes such as these.
The pictures are uneven in quality with some being very fuzzy.
My feeling after examining this book is that it was put together quickly after the project was stitched without any real thought about how to make it a successful project book or stitch guide, and with no consideration about how people might use it later. Just because the original piece is good, doesn’t mean you can slap a book together and expect stitchers to pay over $60 for the book when you can’t even be bothered to give people enough information to stitch the canvas.
We, as stitchers, deserve better than this.