I've started to do some experiments with different stitches. It's sort of a sampler of stitches using various weights of threads. My intention is not to have a 'pretty' piece when the cloth is all stitched but a practise piece that I can reference when needed. I have a length of fabric that I've hooped. When the hoop is filled, I'll just move it down to the next clear space. It's not pretty but it works for me! Some stitchers have been recording on fabric sheets that they bind together into a book. Others do line samplers. Mine will just get rolled when this length is filled out!
I'm using the book by Judith Baker Montano, Free-Form Embroidery as a guide. This is Judith's third book in her stitch dictionary series.
Sixty traditional stitches are featured along with her watercolour
illustrations, which shows the reader how to distort the stitch into
organic shapes. The final chapter covers “Thinking Like a
Painter” and features some of her land/seascapes and underwater projects.
Personally, I like this book.
For online reference I usually default to Mary Corbet's Needle'n Thread web site. Have you looked at her Stitch Fun Index. "Stitch Fun is a series of articles featuring step-by-step photo tutorials that explore various hand embroidery stitches and the fun things you can do with them." However, Tips & Techniques is another section to explore.
This is the 'pretty' stitch sampler that I did for a hand embroidery program a number of years ago. There are over 50 different stitches in this piece. Wool was used on linen. I was a bit of a challenge but I'm pleased with the result!