I just got early access to “First Time Embroidery and Cross-Stitch” by Linda Wyszynski. As the title suggests, the book provides an introduction into information that you’d need in order to get started with freehand embroidery, crewel embroidery, and cross stitch. The book is adequate. I understand that the author has undertaken a daunting task, these are historical crafts with a lot of history and variation over continents.
The embroidery section seems straight forward and very well illustrated. I do wish there was more projects though. There are only 1-2 projects for each example and they are pretty basic. They also are kind of unfinished. The examples are pretty dated as well. I have seen so many cool applications for these crafts, it is disappointing to see them limited to flowers.
Cross-stitch is the only craft in the book I have experience in and as a result, it also feels like the least explained craft. They go through the several stitches of cross stitch, but they leave out the variety of counts that cloth comes in, the different number of strands one is suggested to use depending on the fabric count, the various types of coloring systems (DMC is not the only item out there). I understand not inundating the new user, but I don’t feel like these instructions even begin to explore the fun of cross stitch.
Most projects don’t really take the learning of the craft as the focus. They all have the embroidery and cross-stitch as an accent which means most of the instruction is assembling instead of focusing on the practice/learning of the craft. Overall I wouldn’t buy this book, this information is already present in many forms on the internet with better projects and more detail.