The Needlepoint Belt Series Ann Cady Scott, self-pubished, 2003, $65
I have to say the I REALLY wish this book had more information. Needlepoint belts remain a popular item and a book covering them would be really welcome.
There are several issues regarding needlepoint belts which need to be covered but aren’t. The introduction is very short and, I’m afraid, gives me little help in the questions most stitchers will have when they want to make a belt. Some of these things, for example, how do I know how wide the belt should be, could be answered with a phrase (measure another belt). Others, like adding rows for finishing, could simply have a range of numbers.
I like that the book has so many charts of different motifs to put into a belt, but I’d really like to learn how to put them together. The lack is a hue fault in a book which is 99% charts. I’m buying the book because I want to design my own belt, I don’t want to spend lots of time looking at belts which I’m not going to buy in the store to figure out how far apart to space my motifs. Couldn’t she have given us guidelines?
She tells the reader to consult a needlework shop for thread suggestions, but the threads which work well for belts are pretty easy to recognize and guidelines and suggestions for choosing them could easily have been given.
I also would have liked to see some information about stitches. The stitches she gives all work for belts, but many needlepointers will do their own thing when it comes to stitches and, for belts, this might not work well.
After this short and not very helpful introduction the charts take over. They are divided into broad categories, with index tabs, which makes it helpful to find specific charts. Each category has a short introduction and chart in several different sizes. It might have been helpful to have had a section explaining how to use the charts and a table which translated the height of the pattern into size on common mesh sizes.
The charts are nicely placed and clearly labeled. An index at the end lists the different charts, but only gives section numbers, and not pages. This means I might have to look through the entire section to find the chart I want.
All in all, I felt as if this book was a good middle for a book on needlepoint belts, but was missing the beginning and the end needed to make it a really useful book. If you’ve already made belts and want to try your hand at designing your own, this book would be a worthwhile purchase, otherwise, I’d skip it.