I have a few of the little embroidery guides by the Royal School of Needlework: Blackwork, Crewelwork, and now Canvaswork. They are fabulous. They are small enough to fit in a purse or a project bag, are spiral bound (so they lay flat) and are always super educational.
As with all of these guides, I’m not sure they are suited for a beginner-beginner, but an advanced-beginner will definitely enjoy them. They are inspiring, beautiful little books, with just enough information to let you try stuff out and get interested in finding out more. All the pieces are truly wonderful and allow you to really see a huge range of projects stitched in various complexities of stitch blending and colour blending. I think stitch blending is the prettiest thing featured in the book. Here is a look at one of the pages, just to tempt you.
Here is the mini, messy sampler I worked while watching Sesame Street with my daughter after reading the book through in one sitting. The stitches I tried are: alternating cross (not so nice), byzantine (nice!), chequer, fan (shrug), straight gobelin, leaf (ran out of thread there…), milanese (love the triangles), a very screwed up norwhich square and fern stitch, in alternating directions.
This book also led to me using one of my Cross Stitch Pendants from the Workroom! One notion down, way too many to go. I’ll show you the pendant later this week!