Robin King kindly sent me a PDF version of her stitch guide for Kelly Clark's Katt Z. Witch canvas from Kelly's Halloweenies series for review. This little Halloween witch is 7 3/4 inches high by 5 3/4 inches wide on 18 count canvas. I've seen the bare canvas in person as well as a hard copy of the stitch guide and I must say, Robin's stitched details add a lot to the teenaged witch's personality. The stitch guide is printed on white paper and is inside a large plastic bag to keep it pristine. The shop I saw it at sells both the canvas and the guide for one price, but your local shop may sell them separately.
The guide is twelve pages long. The cover page has a large full color picture of the finished model and the last page lists all the threads and other supplies needed to follow Robin's instructions grouped by manufacturer. This makes it easy to buy all the threads you don't have or to have the canvas kitted up for you by your local shop.
Of the remaining ten pages, three are crammed full of stitch diagrams which are large and easy to read. Not all the diagrams are numbered, however, so some stitches such as crescents will have to be looked up in another stitch book if you don't already know the thread sequence needed to create them. There are good diagrams for unusual techniques such as picots and needle weaving but Robin also directs stitchers to the "How You Do That?" technique DVD #7 called "Techniques of Needleweaving" from Amy Bunger/Kelly Clark for more information about how to weave sections of your canvas. Could an experienced stitcher do needleweaving without buying the DVD? Sure, unless you happen to be one of the folks who learns from watching others. Then you will certainly want the DVD but it will be helpful for anyone who wants to try this on other projects.
The instructions themselves are clear and concise. They cover 6 1/2 pages and would have been shorter except that Robin includes plenty of close-up photos of each section to help you work it properly. (I counted 27 small close-ups.) The last page of instructions has a complete list of stitches used and a reference section of helpful books and DVDs, most of which are by Amy Bunger. (Robin works for Amy and is part of the production team that produces Amy's DVDs.)
Each section of the guide tells you what to do where and with what thread. This is important because 64 different threads, silk ribbon, memory wire, 22 gauge wire, invisible thread, three colors of beads plus two findings are needed to exactly copy Robin's stitching. The instructions will enable you to replicate the wonderful portrait Kelly Clark created and Robin King brought to life, however.
If all Robin's guides are this quality, they will be wonderful additions to your stitching library, whether you actually stitch the canvas they describe or not.
For more information about the stitch guides currently available from Robin King, read yesterday's posting on her guides.