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How do I Choose the Best Needlepoint Book?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 17, 2024
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Choosing the best needlepoint book depends on the purpose for which one needs the book. For example, if this book is for a beginner, then it must include very basic instructions. If it is for a more advanced crafter, then choosing a book with a wide variety of interesting patterns may be more appropriate. There are many books that include both kinds of information, and choosing a single book with a nice balance of both may be the most economical and practical option.

In many cases, a beginner might want a needlepoint book that gives detailed instructions on how to do needlepoint. The book might include information about what materials are needed, how to get set up, or even the history of needlepoint. For beginners, all this information is very important. Without an introduction to needlepoint, one often cannot interpret the diagrams and symbols that may be used in a more advanced needlepoint book.

A true beginner's book may include very basic information on needlepoint, but even people with experience doing needlepoint often need a guide to different stitches. If a needlepoint book is intended to be used primarily as a reference when designing projects or reading patterns, it may be best to choose a book with detailed instruction on a wide variety of stitches. These books frequently include an index that can be used to easily find unknown stitches and can be very convenient when trying to figure out patterns. Some needlepoint books include hundreds of stitches.

When a person is relatively skilled in needlepoint, he or she may want a book that has a large number of attractive patterns. These patterns may include how the piece becomes a functional object, such as a pillow or a purse, or may simply include directions for the stitches. There are pattern books aimed at people of all skill levels as well, including highly advanced projects.

If one is sufficiently skilled in needlepoint, choosing a historical needlepoint book may provide a fun challenge. Needlepoint is a traditional craft and has been practiced for many years, and some patterns that were created a long time ago can yield very beautiful and unique projects. Constructing a craft based on a historical pattern is highly enjoyable for many people and may be considered a unique way of experiencing history.

There are books that combine all these topics in one place. These books are often extremely large and expensive, but they are usually useful for all skill levels. When possible, it is better to choose a book that is in color or has very detailed illustrations, as these can be helpful when trying to figure out problems with a project. Clearly worded explanations are also very important. If one is deeply interested in needlepoint, investment in a large and detailed book with plenty of illustrations may be convenient for many projects even though most of this information is available online.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Pippinwhite — On Apr 25, 2014

Even advanced pointers can learn from a good needlepoint book. I'd say an advanced pointer should look for a book that includes variations on stitches, along with innovative finishing instructions so the item will look like a professional did it.

Some books have a DVD included so the pointer can see exactly how a stitch or pattern is formed, which is tremendously helpful.

By Scrbblchick — On Apr 24, 2014

Choose one with good illustrations, regardless. That's crucial for a beginner, but also allows the advanced crafter to see exactly how a pattern looks and how it is worked.

Stitch illustrations are good, as are photos of the finished craft. This gives the crafter a good point of reference.

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