Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Busy Needle is having a spring cleaning sale.  In stock items are 25% off (except for the current truck show from Ewe and Eye which is 20% off).  Time to go shopping!

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at and at

Book Review: SharonG's SENSE UPDATED

SharonG has finally stopped stitching, designing and teaching long enough to write a book, and it's a doozy!  The title is Simply Essential Needlepoint Stitch Explanations (SENSE for short).

As you can see in the photo, this is a small spiral bound book.  The front and back covers are protected by plastic sheets so this can be tossed in a tote bag and carried to your guild meetings, or go with you on trips.

The book is 75 pages of SharonG's needlepoint knowledge, mostly diagrammed stitches with brief notes with each chart.  The stitches that are diagrammed inside the book are the ones that all of us have seen and used before.  (The only stitch I didn't recognize is Reverse Diagonal Knitting.) Those who are familiar with SharonG's Stitch of the Month stitches or her stitch guides should know that I haven't found any of her own stitches in this book yet.  This is not a place to find the creative and unusual stitches that flow out of her amazing stitching mind diagrammed.  So why am I raving about a book that diagrams stitches you can find in most any book?  Because of the notes Sharon has put under the charts and because of the introduction to this book.  Here's a page I picked at random and photographed for you.

Sharon tells us beads look good on arrowhead stitch and that Byzantine isn't always a good background choice.  All of the stitches have these tips and tricks included.  In this book Sharon reveals her Go To stitches that work well for most canvases.

But the best part is the introduction.  She talks a bit about selecting the right stitches for clothing and water and explains why texture and directional flow are important.  Sharon's Go To stitches are classified in three groups--stitches with very low texture and not much pattern, stitches with a medium texture that has no diagonal flow, and stitches that have what she calls "a well-defined diagonal flow."  This alone is worth the price of the book.  Now you can pick out a stitch knowing whether it will emphasize an area or not.

This book is suitable for both beginners and very advanced stitchers as it presents the stitches we use a lot in a way that allows anyone to choose stitched for a painted canvas wisely.  It is not going to be helpful for folks who do counted canvaswork (unless they are interested in designing their own) or for people who prefer all tent stitched pieces.  It is for canvas embellishment fanatics and is a gold mine for those who want to dress up their painted canvases as it starts a conversation about the most important topic for people who embellish:  How do you choose a stitch for your painted canvas?

This book is the first of a series.  SharonG says the next book will be about landscape stitches.  I can't wait!

UPDATE:  Pocket Full of Stitches has posted more glimpses inside Sharon's book.  If you are still wondering if this book is for you, check out their mini review.

UPDATE #2:  Nimble Needle also reviews Sharon's book here.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow Blogging at and at