I Can Herringbone: From Basic Stitch to Advanced Techniques, a Comprehensive Workbook for Beaders Paperback – Nov 6 2012
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“This book is perfect for those who are just starting, as well as those more established in their craft. Each project is given a difficulty level to encourage beaders to progress and grow more confidence in their beading … While the focus is on helping beginners master the technique, there is plenty for the experienced, from more difficult projects to different embellishments. Easy-to-follow guides and charts help the reader figure out exactly what they need and how to finish.” —Bead Design Studio magazine
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Although the book is called _I Can Herringbone_, which implies that it might be more for beginners, Melissa had assured me that the book would have some advanced projects in it. I would say that most of the projects are for beginning and intermediate beaders, but her beautiful and advanced-level Sinusoidal Necklace (the class that I took with her last year) is included, as well as other projects that require a stronger knowledge of herringbone. (Each project includes a skill level of Easy Beginner, Experienced Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. Three of them are rated as Advanced.) It should appeal to all levels of beaders, although it has more of an emphasis on the beginner- and intermediate-level beader.
As Melissa explains in the introduction, Chapter 1 provides background on types of beads, etc., and then Chapter 2 provides a foundation in herringbone for the novice beader through the teaching of two bracelet projects and one earring project. From there, the book moves into a chapter on tubular herringbone, variations of tubular herringbone, and bezeled stones. The final chapter is a Gallery with works by other artists, including Laura McCabe and Huib Petersen. There is also a nice mix of projects -- with several patterns for earrings, necklaces, and even a ring.
Another great feature of this book is that the Appendix gives the exact bead colors in the samples. I love when beading books make it that easy to replicate projects!
Additionally, the illustrations and diagrams are excellent, and the instructions are clearly laid out and should be easy to follow. As I mentioned earlier, I've done quite a few of Melissa's patterns before, and her projects are always clear and precise. In the past, I know that Melissa has also assisted a bead store back East and Laura McCabe with the illustration/writing of their instructions, and she excels in providing the beader with intuitive steps.
The binding of this new Lark series is also nice. It's a soft-cover book, but one that is flexible so that you can spread the book open and it will remain flat while working from it.
Overall, this book is a wonderful introduction to Melissa's designs if you've never done any of her patterns before. If you have, this is still a great book to add to your collection. It's a lovely book -- one that is full of pretty pieces! I highly recommend it!
After that, the chapters are broken down by stitch variation, including projects using that particular stitch variation so you can start making things immediately. Most of the projects use common, easy to find bead sizes and supplies.
Chapter 1: Flat Herringbone Stitch, the basic stitch illustrated in lots of detail how to start and do the stitch with clear thread paths. There are 3 projects, my favorite is the Quartets Bracelet which is elegant and quick to stitch in size 8 beads with crystal accents.
Chapter 2: Variations of Flat Herringbone Stitch- using different bead sizes, shapes and embellishments with flat herringbone. 6 projects, and my favorite is the Earth Mother flat dramatic disk shaped earrings.
Chapter 3: Tubular Herringbone Stitch explains how to work the stitch in a tube shape like a rope. 4 projects, my favorite is the simple pearl accented Sweet Sets Necklace for it's versatility.
Chapter 4: Variations of Tubular Herringbone Stitch shows how to use embellishments, increasing, and twisted tubes. 8 projects, my favorites are the simple and adaptable Trumpet Lily Earrings and the Victorian Elegance Necklace which is made in modular units to build a very dramatic collar.
Chapter 5: Bezeled Stones explains how to bezel stones and cabochons in herringbone weave and how to create a faux bezel as a frame for focal beads. 5 projects, these projects are the most exciting in the book. Starting with a simple bezeled pendant with a bail, and then getting more complicated and involved to create lush pieces. This is the chapter that will be a treat for more advanced beaders and a great goal for beginners!
Recommend for beginning through intermediate beaders. There is a good range of skills and projects in this volume.
[I received a complimentary copy of the book to review on my bead site- BellaOnline Beadwork. I received no other compensation, and my review is my honest opinion of the product.]
I'm an advanced beader and am often afraid to order a book that could be too basic. The author takes you throuh all the basics and then moves you into some really fun, functional ideas to create her beautiful pieces or better yet ideas to incorporate in your own bead work. I'm very happy with my purchase and do recomend the book to beaders of all levels.
The book starts with an introduction from the author, Melissa Grakowsky, and jumps into the "Materials & Tools" required in the first chapter. The next five chapters contain 26 projects that build on the skills developed from the previous chapters. The projects are well laid-out and easy to follow, with clear illustrations and pictures. The Gallery includes a great collection of creations by Melissa and other artists.
While herringbone jewelry is more challenging to make than basic beading, it is nowhere as touch as I had thought it would be. This book will help new beaders get started and even experienced jewelry makers will enjoy the wonderful projects.
Note: Review copy provided by publisher