Number Five: Ask your favorite shop. Many will do a stitch guide for you if you buy the canvas (or at least the threads in the guide) from them. Shop owners or their employees also might have seen a guide at a trade show or heard about it through the shops grapevine. They are your best friends when you are seeking a stitch guide. Some shops even have a stitch guide page on their website listing guides they've written. Note: I've got a tab listing shops that do free guides if yours doesn't. Check the various tabs under the header photo of Brenda Stofft's Rabbit Geisha.
Number Four: Check the designer's website and Facebook page to see if there is a guide already. Many designers have a section of their website that lists available guides. Some of them are free for download as a PDF file right at the site. Examples of websites with free guides are Associated Talents, Barbara Bergsten (now Two Sisters Designs), Melissa Shirley and Needle Deeva, but there are many more. If you fall in love with a canvas, head to the designer's site and check to see if there is a guide listed there. Even if it is not free, you at least know what to ask for.
Number Three: Ask your stitching friends on the ANG email list, or at Needlepoint Nation or the other needlepoint groups on Facebook, or at your local guild meetings. Use the power of social media and your friends network to see if anyone knows about a guide.
Number Two: Check the main stitch guide writers' sites to see what they have done. Amy Bunger, Robin King, Tony Minieri, and Patricia Sone have written hundreds of stitch guides. Amy has an online catalogue at her Amy's Golden Strand site and so does Tony, Robin King, Laura Taylor, Mary Legallet, Cynthia Thomas, and Laurie Walden. Pat Miller and Sandy Arthur also list guides on their sites. David McCaskill has a new website with a stitch guide section. Also keep an eye on Robin King's and Sharon Quick's and Carolyn Hedge Baird's Facebook pages where they post new guides as they complete them. Terry Christopher Costello is also starting to upload photos of the canvases she's done guides for to her Facebook page. Links to the various stitch guide writers' sites and contact information for them are listed on the Contact Information tab under the header photo of the Rabbit Geisha. Stitch guide writers are happy to answer emailed questions, although you do need to allow extra time for a reply. Many stitch guide writers also travel to teach so they don't always answer questions right away. Please be patient.
Number One: [drumroll please!] The number one place to find if your canvas has a guide is the CH Stitch Guides Blog, maintained by me. It not only lists my stitch guides, it lists most of the guides I've heard about. I link to a photo of a finished model when I find one.
Either browse the articles on the CH Stitch Guides blog or use the search box at the upper left hand corner to find your favorite designer or stitch guide writer. I am happy to discuss any guide you might be interested in. I'm also happy to let you know if the canvas you want to stitch has a guide, whether I wrote it or someone else did. I try to keep up on what stitch guides are available so I often can tell you where to find one if it has been done. I'm not always right but I usually can give you a good guess or tell you who to talk to.
Email me at sgfromchnp at gmail dot com for help. These days, you are never without a guide for a painted canvas unless you want to be.