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Vetty Creations office partial closure: I have been unwell since mid November 2023. Orders are going out, though may be delayed when I'm having a really bad day/days. I respond to enquiries when I am able to. I apologise for this. It’s not what I want either.

Frequently asked questions

Vetty Creations books

1. Which of your books do you recommend for beginners?

That depends on so many things...

How much of a beginner are you? Are you a complete beginner to embroidery, or are you a beginner to the styles of embroidery that I do? Have you done any counted cross stitch, and liked it? Yes? Then you could go for a counted style of embroidery. No? Then maybe choose a non-counted style.

Vetty Creations counted embroidery books

Counted embroidery is where the stitches are positioned by careful counting of the fabric's threads.

Vetty Creations non-counted books

Non-counted embroidery is where the stitches are positioned anywhere on the fabric. Often the pattern is drawn or traced on to the fabric, or the embroidery is just worked freestyle.

Choose what you want to learn

My advice is to choose the style of embroidery that appeals to you most and decide to learn it. If you like the look of it, you'll be more likely to persevere with it. If it doesn't really appeal to you, but you think it's the one you "should" learn, when it gets hard, you may not be bothered persevering.

Of the counted books, the techniques in Smøyg are probably the easiest, because they're really just running stitch. However, if that style doesn't appeal to you, then don't choose it simply because it is easy!

For some, they find the techniques in Sardinian Knotted Embroidery quite difficult, because the process is really quite unusual. However, if that's the style of embroidery that appeals most to you, then you're more likely to keep going until you master it.

My books all have step-by-step instructions, and they are written to cater for the beginner as much as the experienced stitcher.

You can see flip-throughs of most of my books on my YouTube channel, White Threads.

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2. Which of your Hardanger books is best for beginners?

three Hardanger books by Yvette Stanton

I have three books on Hardanger embroidery, and all of them cover different things. There is some overlap between books - they are all on Hardanger, after all! - but they are each distinct.

Elegant Hardanger Embroidery

Elegant Hardanger Embroidery is less comprehensive than the others, but focuses more on contemporary style Hardanger. It only has right-handed step-by-step instructions. Notable inclusions in this book are buttonhole edging (not in either of the others), lacy buttonhole edging (in this and Hardanger Filling Stitches), and 15 projects. A beginner could use this book.

Early-Style Hardanger

Early-Style Hardanger has both left- and right-handed step-by-step instructions and focuses on traditional style Hardanger. Notable inclusions in this book are old-style stitches that have fallen out of regular usage, and 10 projects. A beginner could use this book.

Hardanger Filling Stitches

Hardanger Filling Stitches has both left- and right-handed step-by-step instructions, but focuses mainly on the cutwork aspect of Hardanger. It does have some of the basics, such as klosters, cable stitch, eyelets etc, but that is not its main focus. Notable inclusions in this book are over 100 filling stitches and variations, and one project. A beginner could use this book.

No flip-through is available for this book yet, as it hasn't yet been printed. It is due for publication in Australia and New Zealand at the end of 2023, and in early 2024 for the rest of the world.

So which one?

Personally, I feel that Early-Style Hardanger would be a good one for a beginner to learn the basics really well. If you're one of the many people who have come to me through my friend @hardangerrebel on Instagram, that book is how she learned Hardanger.

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3. Which of your books have left-handed instructions?

I'm left-handed, and over the years as I have written more books, I have realised that is one real point of difference for me. I realised I could put left-handed instructions into my books, when other authors don't always recognise the need or have the capability to do so. Of course, these books also contain right-handed instructions, except for The Left-Handed Embroiderer's Companion, which has a sister book: The Right-Handed Embroiderer's Companion.

Books by Yvette Stanton that have left-handed instructions

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4. What is whitework?

Whitework embroidery is embroidery that is worked in white thread on white fabric. It's as simple as that. The work is done in white, so it is whitework. Much of the work I do is considered to be whitework.

Whitework is an all-encompassing term for all styles of embroidery that are worked with white thread on white fabric, so within that definition, there are many styles that can be termed whitework. Some examples are Hardanger embroidery, Guimarães embroidery (Portuguese whitework), Punt 'e Nù (Sardinian knotted embroidery), Mountmellick, Schwalm, Frisian whitework, and many more.

"So, if whitework is supposed to be white on white, why does Frisian whitework (example shown above) seem to have colour on some of the examples, and even on the cover of your book?"

Samplers are some of the main historical pieces of Frisian whitework that are left for us to see in museums and private collections. Often samplers were done by young girls and to make the stitching more interesting, sometimes coloured thread was used. Sometimes the fabric was unbleached, meaning it had some colour as well. But when the embroidery was used on clothing or household linen, it was always worked in white.

Trish Burr has a book called "Whitework with Colour" in which she has, in the words of her website, "added colour to traditional whitework embroidery". The work is beautiful, as all Trish's work is, however, I find it a little confusing to call it whitework! These feelings could be regarded as paradoxical when you consider my previous paragraph about Frisian whitework!

Strictly speaking, whitework is always done in white stitching on white fabric, but there are those naughty exceptions to the rule! Some people just can't help pushing the boundaries!

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5. Now that Dovo scissors are no longer available, what scissors do you recommend for Hardanger/cutwork embroidery?

Premax ringlock scissors

Sadly, some years ago Dovo discontinued manufacturing their highly regarded scissors. I searched for some time to find some scissors that I am happy to recommend as being on par with those lovely scissors. The ones I now recommend are Premax Ringlock scissors. When I can get them, I carry these as stock.

I used these scissors when I was writing my book Hardanger Filling Stitches. I found them comfortable to hold and smooth to use, with fine, sharp-pointed blades, just right for getting between fabric threads to accurately and cleanly cut.


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