Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stitch-opedia: Learning a New Craft

The beginning of a new year is a time when I make all sort of promises to learn and do new things. This year, to help me along with this promise, my sister (who is awesome at doing and learning things) gave me an embroidery starter kit. I’m convinced that, like knitting, embroidery is due for a comeback of epic proportions. Sadly, since she left the day after giving me this gift I found myself feeling a bit lost.

Luckily, my sister isn’t the only one invested in my lifelong learning. I turned to the library and was pleased to discover Helen Winthorpe Kendrick’s Stitch-opedia: The Only Embroidery Reference You’ll Ever Need – named one of Library Journal’s Best Do-It-Yourself books of the year. Claiming to be the only reference I’d need seemed hard to believe but I put my misgivings aside and it’s a good thing I did. Kendrick breaks the book into easy-to-digest sections including a history of the craft, a list of equipment you’ll need, an explanation of various techniques, and 30 projects of various difficulty levels to get you started. In addition to many helpful pictures to illustrate supplies and techniques, the book has one of my favorite things: an index! Learning a new craft sometimes means learning a new language as well so it’s nice to have a simple way of looking up the difference between a criss-cross stitch, a crossed stitched window, and a cross stitch.

I promise to finish up with Stitch-opedia quickly and return it to its rightful spot in the new books section on the first floor of Faulk. If you’d like to get started on your own needlework project before then, rest assured we have plenty of other resources for you. For starters, you’ll find several other books on the subject in all of our branches (look around 746.44), you can check out our Research Guide on Fabric Crafts or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even attend a meeting of the Austin Stitchery Guild.

Remember to check out the library for help accomplishing your own New Year's Resolutions!

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