This was something I wanted to do - embroider wood grain I began with 3 circles and then couched heavier threads around one side of them. From there it was a matter of making lies of stitching to resemble woodgrain. I have used different stitches as before, and as i am not a fan of just brown, I have used other colours to give it interest - of course there had to be purple in too!
Another way to learn stitches is to do some crazy patchwork. this is interesting because you can combine stitches. The colour is a lovely rich black background of dress making fabrics which doesn't show to advantage in this photo
For these projects i used various books to learn the stitches, but also I use Sharon Boggon's great website and her stitch dictionary. her website is a great source of inspiration. It can be found here
Pin Tangle – a blog about textileshttp://www.pintangle.com/
Tones and Tints - a blog about drawing, studio art journalling and visual arts
I trust you will be inspired to try something similar if you want to learn more stitches