Jane Evans and Liv Weiss, 2017, Bedecked & Beadazzled, $37
Compiling a book like this is a huge amount of effort. You need to decide what threads will go into the book, test all the threads, record information about them, and put everything into a consistent format. I realize this and the book is a huge and mostly accurate source of information about the threads it covers.
However it isn’t as complete or as unbiased as the authors claim in the introduction. They say that the country of origin is included for threads “when available.” It is inexplicably missing from many Rainbow Gallery threads, even though that information is on every card they sell. In fact this information is included on the packages of most US threads, so why is it missing?
Other strange things pop up. For example for some threads they will tell you they are dyed to match other threads, but for other threads, for example the Gumnuts threads, they make no mention of the fact that they are dyed to match. For one Gumnut thread they call the numbering system “unique” when the very next thread, another Gumnut thread, uses it. Two threads from other manufacturers use the same kind of numbering system, but it is not mentioned foe them.
Often their “unbiased” opinions and descriptions of threads come off as if they were straight from the company’s marketing department by way of their website. At other times you do get an opinion which is theirs. I don’t mind the quoting from the company’s materials, but could you indicate that?
Another inexplicale thing to me is how threads from one manufacturer are organized. For some companies, Au Ver a Soie for example, the threads are listed separately. For others though, for example Weeks, all their threads are combined on one page. Why was this done like this? And why are some perfectly good needlepoint threads left out, for example Londonderry Linen, and threads that haven’t been made in decades, such as Patina, kept in? Why did you include some threads from a manufacturer, for example silk ribbon from Treenway, and not include others, such as any of their silk threads? Why don’t you tell me threads from different manufacturers that are similar, such as Impressions, Poppies, and Sheep’s Silk? Doing that would broaden my possibilities for thread so much.
Thread information is hard to find and there is plenty of space on the page for more than I’ve been given. The book would be so much better if this stuff had been there. I know that any book of this type will be incomplete and will have mistakes. I just would like to feel as if more care was taken with it. It’s great to give me a hint on opening a skein of Vineyard Silk but why not include for every skein of this type?
These faults are a shame because with a bit more attention to detail they could all have been corrected.
Following the reference section there are several pages of hints on working with threads of different kinds. While I do not agree with them all, on the whole it’s excellent advice.
The final section of the book has tables of threads by fiber content and a thread usage chart. The usage chart is also included as a separate laminated card. There’s lots of information to be included here so the very small print (10 point and below) makes sense. I just wish it was easier to read.
Although the book has tons of useful information, most of it is easily found and at the price, it’s just too expensive for what you get. If it were half the price it would be worth it.