Whilst I was at the Embroiderers' Guild last week, I picked up two beginners' guides to stitching from their bookshop.
The first was the Guide to Embroidery Stitches published by Hachette Illustrated (ISBN 1-84430-140-0), which is a fantastic practical guide to starting to embroider and explains the techniques involved in creating 260 different stitches!!!!!!! which fall into different catagories including line, chain, crossed, blanket, feather, isolated, couching, satin, woven, woven filling, insertion, drawn thread, pulled and smocking.
The second was the "Stitch-it kit - simple instructions and tools for 35 chic to classic embroidery projects" by Jenny Hart who, apparently, is the founder of Sublime Stitching. It's published by Chronicle Books (ISBN 0-8118-4321-1).
I thought I'd have a go at learning to embroider, so this kit seems ideal for a novice like me. I'll let you know how I get on..wish me luck.