While out Christmas shopping I came across this book in a discount book store: "The Encyclopedia Of Stitches" edited by Karen Hemingway.
The cover first caught my eye with the lovely picture of a sampler stitched in brightly coloured threads. After a quick leaf through and at only £5.99 for the hardback I knew I had to get it.
There are chapters on counted thread work, free embroidery (including sections on beadwork, silk ribbon embroidery, stumpwork and more), cut work, smocking and canvas work, with a short introduction into preparing and mounting fabric. While the chapters don't comprehensively cover any of the areas, they do still present a good variation of stitches. Each section starts with a brief suggestion about the type of fabrics and threads to use, followed by the stitch guides, and then a project at the end. There are lots of bold, bright colours, which appeals to me, and gives some of the more traditional needlecrafts, like canvas work, a bright, modern look. The stitch guides are clear and well illustrated although at times a little short.
I would class myself as a beginner embroiderer - I have done some embroidery but there are a lot of stitches and techniques in the book that I haven't tried or come across before. So I think this would be a great book for someone like me, or someone with a little more experience looking to expand their embroidery repertoire.