I love stitch dictionaries, don’t you?
I think everyone should have at least two on their reference shelf. Why at least two? Because when you have two stitch dictionaries, you can learn one very important lesson…and I’ll tell you what that lesson is at the end.
What I really want to talk to you about today is a book. It is one book. But it’s causing some confusion!
I’ve had some requests to review a “new” book that’s out, called Embroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More Than 200 Stitches.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? And really, there’s nothing better than a good step-by-step stitch dictionary that will help you learn a boatload of stitches!
But there’s a funny thing about this book…
Even though Embroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide, etc. is listed as published in June, 2015, I reviewed the exact same book back in 2010.
Embroidery: A Step-by-Step…etc. is one of those books that’s been republished often, with lots of different covers and titles.
Despite the new cover, the inside of the book is Stitch Sampler: The Ultimate Visual Dictionary of Over 200 Classic Stitches (you can read my review here).
It’s also Stitch Dictionary: A practical and inspirational guide to choosing and working with over 200 classic stitches.
And, another version of it, with the same cover as the first photo above, is called Embroidery Stitches Step-by-Step.
The publisher of all versions is DK, and the author is Lucinda Ganderton. The only difference in all of the books above? The covers and the titles. The interior is the same book.
Why the proliferation of covers and titles? This is simply the publisher updating the cover for current audiences with each publication, and depending on where they’re distributing the book. In the US, the current edition is pictured in the first photo above, and in the UK, the current edition is the same cover, but with a briefer title.
The upshot: if you already own Stitch Sampler or Stitch Dictionary by the same author and publisher, you don’t really need to buy Embroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More Than 200 Stitches (US) or Embroidery Stitches Step-by-Step (UK).
Two or More Stitch Dictionaries
That’s not to say you shouldn’t own two or more stitch dictionaries. They just shouldn’t be the same stitch dictionary.
If you love embroidery and you want to expand your skills as you journey down your embroidery road, then I’m a huge advocate of owning at least two good stitch dictionaries.
Because there is more than one way to skin a cat, as my grandmother used to say.
(I don’t think she really ever skinned a cat… mmmmm….I hope she never really skinned a cat!)
But the principle of the idiom applies: there’s more than one way to do things, whether it be cat-skinning or embroidery stitching.
Sometimes, one stitch dictionary will make it easier to grasp the movement of a stitch, or will show you an alternate way to create the same stitch.
Two good stitch dictionaries will also give you an excellent way to cross check stitches – for example, to confirm that you’ve got it if you’re unsure that you’ve got it.
This Particular Book
Embroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More Than 200 Stitches is both a prolific stitch dictionary and a pretty good instructional one, too. It’s a nice reference book to have on your shelf, no matter what cover is on the book.
Where to Find It
If you don’t already own Embroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More Than 200 Stitches OR Stitch Sampler OR Stitch Dictionary, then you’ll not go wrong in getting the most recently published edition. It’s handy and a great way to expand your own repertoire of embroidery stitches.
You can find Embroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide through the following book affiliates:
In the US, it’s available here through Amazon for under $14, new.
Worldwide with free shipping, it’s available here through Book Depository, where it’s called Embroidery Stitches Step-by-Step. (It’s the same book!)
What’s Your Favorite Stitch Dictionary?
Do you have a favorite stitch dictionary?
There are many stitch dictionaries out there (I’ve reviewed a bunch of them – you’ll find them in the Books section here on Needle ‘n Thread), but perhaps you have one or two that you turn to repeatedly?
What stitch dictionary would you recommend over others?
Feel free to let us all know which stitch dictionaries you like and why – you might be able to help another stitcher make a good book choice.
If you want to join in the stitch dictionary conversation, feel free to leave a comment below!