Once upon a time, I wanted to become an astronomer. I used to be able to name the constellations and point out the planets. One time we went to an observatory and luckily it was a clear night so we could actually see stuff. Like Jupiter!! And I'd really, really love to see a space launch some time! You could say that I am a bit of a space nerd.
So when the publisher of A Geek's Guide to Cross-Stitch: Journeys in Space got in touch asking if I'd like to review it, I said yes-thank-you-very-much! I wouldn't normally gleefully jump at a cross stitch book (because I always mess up counting the stitches), but you know, SPACE!
Ok, let's dig into...no, let's launch this review! :-) And once we've successfully reached orbit (i.e. the end of the post), you can enter the giveaway of a copy of the book!
The book is written by Clarissa Thorne of Unexpected Hobby. Find her as @unexpectedhobby on Instagram as well.
I was given a review copy by the publisher but the opinions in this review are my own and not influenced by that fact. :-)
The book has two main sections, Stitch Camp and Mission Schematics. Stitch Camp includes everything you need to know when you start stitching. Information about needles, thread, fabric, stitches etc.
I quite like how the stitches are demonstrated on peg board using yarn, instead of thread on fabric. It makes it very easy to see what's going on.
The book has patterns on various sizes, this is one of the larger ones, a shuttle launch, nice! For each design you get tips for stitching it. For example, how to make the design look its best depending on the fabric background colour etc.
Each pattern has a Design Specs section, as well as the diagram and palette key. The Designs Specs is very useful, because it tells you how large the stitched pattern will be, how many thread colours you need and the skill level for the pattern.
One thing I really like about this book is that it's wire bound. I think that makes it a lot easier to balance on your lap or the arm of the sofa as you're stitching along. Unlike the more freeform embroidery I do, in cross stitch you need to pay a lot more attention to the pattern and count the stitches. It is so practical that you can fold the book at the spine so it takes up less space. I am really glad that I have a physical copy, otherwise I'd not have thought about this.
I usually insist on physical copies for this very reason, the binding and/or paper can make a big difference to a book.
Another couple of patterns. I am quite partial to the one on the right. I love blackwork embroidery so it was a nice surprise to see that included in one of the patterns. It's a great way to make a star field that almost glitters because of the different blackwork patterns.
The book has several large patterns which would be somewhat time consuming but it also has smaller patterns which you could stitch up quite quickly. Little green aliens, rockets, space helmets, lunar phases etc.
The book is published by Fanbase Press, "a comic book publisher and geek culture website" and I think having a publisher that's not your traditional craft book publisher really has allowed the geekiness to shine through in this book.
It may also be the reason for the only slightly negative thing about this book: for a lot of the patterns, there isn't a picture of the finished stitched version. Instead there are closeups and finished versions done with a cross stitch program. It's just a minor thing and certainly doesn't take anything away from the designs themselves. I just missed seeing them coz I'm a stitchy geek like that. ;-)
I really like this book and if you're into space and cross stitch, I think it'd be right up your arm of the Milkyway.
Comments are now closed and you can no longer enter the giveaway.
*Anyone can enter the giveaway. I'd love to know what kind of space stitchery you'd like to try!
* The giveaway closes on Sunday, December 2nd (2018) at 11am UK time.
* To enter, leave a comment on this post. Comments are moderated, so it may take a little while to show up.
* There must always be an easy, straightforward way to contact you if you're the winner of the giveaway. Email address, Twitter @, Instagram @, Flickr name or a link to your blog where I can easily find your email address. I will not notify the winner via a comment on your blog.
* Anonymous entries can not be accepted.
* One person = one comment = one entry. You can't get extra entries by tweeting a link to the giveaway post, posting on Instagram or by any other means.
* Will be drawn at random on Monday, December 3rd and will be notified by email or other contact method left in the giveaway entry.
* Has two weeks to reply to the notification. If I haven't heard from them by that time, I will pick another winner.
* Will be announced on the blog shortly after the end of the giveaway.
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