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The book is subtitled
"Some Do's and Don't
Some Hints and Tricks".
This is a very (very) rare book however.....
This is not as well known or famous as Davie Hyman's book on Basketweave so I sent a copy to my friend and NP (sort of) mentor Jane, of The Chilly Hollow Needlepoint Adventure Blog for her take on it.
I have received a very favorable review & synopsis of this book from Jane.
I am quoting from Jane's email, with her permission
"I have started reading however, and noticed something very interesting right away. She intends for this booklet to be read by a group of stitchers (two actually), one of whom reads while the other stitches. That's a really smart way to handle concepts that are not easy to grasp. I've also noticed her Basic Rule for basketweave --"Around each mesh or intersection of canvas threads are 4 holes. The stitch must extend from the lower left hole to the upper right hole without exception." This is a great rule and one I've never heard before. Combine that with knowing where to start the ascending and descending diagonal rows that mesh like a zipper, and remember not to put two ascending or descending rows together, and you can't go wrong in your basketweave.
The hand drawn diagrams are ok although we are spoiled by much better ones these days. Occasionally it is hard to find an X on a black and white diagram when the X is over a curved line, for example. The black lines all run together because of the crudity of the illustration techniques available. This book is pre-Internet and pre-graphics software, you know. It was published in 1974 (forty years ago!) when basketweave was something new to master after doing only bland backgrounds in continental or half cross. The first great era of needlepoint books was dawning. I occasionally had trouble understanding a diagram when I was tired (I'm dyslexic, after all) but a new look the next day always solved the problem I was having with a diagram. That is nothing new when it comes to me and diagrams.
I found it very interesting that she calls basketweave "diagonal tent." That's a clever way to explain it since the stitches are worked on the diagonal. I don't actually know when basketweave became the more usual term. Maybe the two were always interchangable?
I also like her explanation of how to work basketweave background around a central motif so that you do the parts separately that are separated and then work the rows that run across the whole area as one. This will help keep folks from mistakenly doing two up or down rows next to each other and probably makes the rows smoother looking. Katherine was one smart cookie.
This is a pretty thorough book for its size. K talks about shading with basketweave, how to position light and dark shades of the same color on overlapping items, how to thread a needle and even explains how to read cross stitch and needlepoint diagrams. I particularly liked her section on mixing the three types of tent stitch and how to do it successfully when you are outlining a section. Technique is not something modern needlepointers do much (with some exceptions--teachers like Joni Stevenson and Tony Minieri are particularly good with technique) so it is nice to see a technical discussion of how to mix these stitches with their differing tensions successfully as we all have canvases with thin lines separately big blocks of one solid color. I think this section is one I'll read again and again as she even covers backstitching!
I have to admit I didn't read the directions for lefties in the book except to skim them and see she covers the same material as the right handed section. I decided I would just confuse myself trying to understand now left handed people work since I'm right handed.
I think this is a terrific little book. It covers all the problem areas one is likely to run into with basketweave, has 8 pages of directions written just for lefties, and does it all within 56 pages. It is the only Basketweave Only book available besides Davie Hyman's"
end of quote. I sincerely Thank Jane for that review.
So many of us think we know exactly what we are doing using this absolutely basic stitch but there is so much we don't know.
Katharine Ireys is author of Finishing and Mounting Your Needlepoint Pieces & The Encyclopedia of Canvas Embroidery Stitches. Both of these excellent books remain popular many years after their publication in 1972 & 1971.
This is a booklet, it is small and appears self-published which was not very common in 1963 when this was done.
Diagonal Tent Stitch has 43 pages. There is a very interesting introduction, then there is a table of contents with 31 subjects listed, that are covered. The directions and the many diagrams, in black and shades of gray, are clear and easy to follow.
There is information in here, things I didn't know, despite being a *plain stitcher* for a long time.
It's all here, all of it including a complete overview of shading. This book is not necessarily for beginners, it might be beyond an absolute beginner but all of us experience stitchers should read this small booklet.
I am frankly amazed any copies remain. It is a paperbound small booklet. The inside pages are quite yellowed but my copy has no tears, missing pages or foxing.
The copy of Diagonal Tent Stitch is in good condition. The cover is worn and slightly discolored.
I apologize for the price and promise you these cost me a lot.
This is almost impossible to get and beginning to be forgotten, a real shame.