I was thinking. My philosophy of embroidery is: I know how to doggie paddle so why not jump in the deep end? Sink or swim, y’all! If I get stuck then I desperately hope that Needle ‘n Thread can bail me out. I’ve been throwing up some real exciting drawn thread and hardanger recently, but perhaps some of y’all prefer a more structured approach.
To that end, I’d like to mention a Canadian site, The Victoria Sampler. They have a wealth of resources to support folks trying to learn, including cyberclasses, stitcheramas (live webcast classes), online stitching chat groups, several learning kit series, a few nice animations demonstrating hardanger stitches, several dozen free patterns, and a number of gorgeous advanced designs. There’s a free stitch-your-own-nametag cyberclass if you want to try it out.
The Beyond Cross-Stitch Learning Collection has 6 levels containing 10 small kits each (costing around $10 USA including all materials). I’m including one picture from each level.
The kits each add a single new stitch technique and include stitches from previous levels. The levels cover the following topics:
- Specialty stitches
- Silk ribbon stitches
- Counted stitches and techniques
- Drawn thread, pulled thread, and hemstitching
- Beginner Hardanger
- Intermediate Hardanger
The Beautiful Finishing series covers how to finish for display your needlework in the form of bellpulls, ornaments, biscornus, boxes, and other items.
They have a variety of designs that are not in the learning series; they have many styles (samplers, ornaments, biscornus, etc), but here is my favorite trio (all of which have pattern packs, thread/accessory packs, and cyberclasses available).
You can order online or they have a shop finder to help you locate needlework shops near you that carry these (they distribute to all over the world).