Monday, February 14, 2022

Stitches with Hart UPDATED

Brenda Hart has published a fourth book, and I am thrilled.  I am a big fan of her books and use them more than any of the others in my collection.  
But is this a book you'll love as much as I do?  Let's see, shall we?

The cover is on the left.  This is a 92 page book, plus three pages of introductory information and a three page index. As you can see from the photo, it is spiral bound with light cardboard covers.  Your local copy shop can remove, laminate and rebind the covers for you to help preserve them.

The cover itself shows what Brenda's diagrams are like--all in black and white with shades of gray.  The diagrams are not numbered, although Brenda sometimes tells you the proper order for multiple steps to execute the stitch.  In other words, this book is likely to be more helpful for the experienced needlepointer or someone who is willing to do a lot of test stitching on scrap canvas to figure out how to execute a stitch.

Brenda has written three other books in the same format.  None of her books repeat stitches, although you may find variations on a stitch you saw in an earlier book.  Most of these stitches are Brenda's creations she has dreamed up during her long teaching career so you won't see them repeated elsewhere often.  Most pages have 3-4 stitches diagrammed on them although some of the larger stitches are on a page by themselves.  I did a quick count to see how many stitches are included and came up with 341 diagrams.  I counted complicated stitches with three diagrams as one and didn't include the two diagrams Brenda added showing how to bead on needlepoint canvas, so this is only a rough estimate, but clearly you get a lot of stitches for your money.

I chose a page at random to show how the diagrams work.  Brenda occasionally adds suggestions for the working order as you can see above.  Most diagrams don't have such notes, however.  

The book doesn't have chapters although Brenda clusters like stitches together (borders, for example, or darning stitches).  The index in the back talks about shapes (diamonds, ovals) or sometimes gives the stitch name (t-stitch).  You can get a general idea if the stitch is what you want from that.

Brenda Hart is a master of light-coverage stitches so most of the stitches in this book are designed for this type of needlepoint.  Many can be adapted to full coverage by using thicker threads or by adding little tent stitches, cross stitches, or beads in the empty areas.  Most will make elegant and subtle backgrounds or complicated borders or scattered motifs.

I plan to use this book a lot!

Happy Valentine's Day to Brenda and of course all of you wonderful blog visitors.  

UPDATE:  Good news for shop owners:  Ruth Schmuff of Bedecked and Beadazzled is now the distributor of Brenda's books.  If you need stock for your customers, check with Ruth.

Written by Jane/Chilly Hollow
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