I love a good stitch guide – clear instructions, good images, and maybe even a bit of historic background. Here are some of my favourite online guides – do you know of any more – please leave a comment.
Primrose design has a stitch guide that can be found in her sidebar – lots of clear images of how to do the stitch as well as some lovely examples.
In a minute ago has an updated stitch dictionary with an image and some historic background.
Embroiderers guild stitch guide – good illustrations and instructions.
pattern bee has 6 basic stitches
Rissa from pretty impressive stuff keeps an updates list with links to stitch images here
Chest of books – online archive of books that are out of copyright – where you can find decorative needlework by May Morris published in 1893 – a fantastic resource full of indepth discussion, history, uses and great illustrations.
vintage sewing has a lovely resource of techniques taken from the 1926 book The New-Way Course in Fashionable Clothes-Making.
Beeton’s book of needlework published in 1870 – is not online – presented here in it’s entirety for your gentle use. – instructions and patterns for tatting, embroidery, knitting, crochet, netting, monograms, lace …
Another fantastic vintage resource is The Encyclopedia of Needlework by Thérèse de Dillmont published in 1884. (where the above image is taken from). Also The Handbook of Embroidery by L. Higgin and edited by Lady Marian Alford published in 1880 by authority of the Royal School of Art-Needlework.