To read this is to start with a knowing friend at your elbow. Projansky's warm, opinionated text could sweet-talk anyone into a sculptured--i.e, three-dimensional-project. The excellent early chapters--on canvas and yarn qualities--won't thrill several (unpreferred) manufacturers but they will direct the inexperienced away from inferior materials and offer support for common mistakes (""ripping out needlepoint stitchery can set you to grinding your teeth or kicking the cat""). And the advice on stitch choices is, again, worth heeding--she virtually forbids the distorting Continental for background work. The designs are quite lovely, many with an old-fashioned look, and the instructions for them provide every kind of aid: close-ups of corners, clear stitch charts, full-color photos of completed works.