Why, oh why wasn't The Absolute Beginners Guide: Stitching Beaded Jewelry: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started around when I first started beading years ago?

This new release which I just received from Kalmbach Publishing would have saved me endless hours on the internet looking for basic instructions - the books then were too specialized and the projects too involved for a newbie.

It's the perfect "textbook" for learning how to do bead work. Just one handy book to get you started with simpler yet satisfying projects - 27 in all - while tackling 11 basic stitches.

Crossweave, peyote, brick, RAW (right angle weave), ladder, daisy and square are the stitch projects which start off Lesley Weiss' book. I particularly liked how she included layered or 3D projects which are easy but "looks hard to do" - if you know what I mean. Weiss also gives helpful suggestions on how to change the look of the design by changing bead sizes, introducing color patterns and more. This is a good thing because sometimes beginners cannot see the possibilities beyond.

I find square stitch a slow one to do, so I was not surprised to see the author wisely limiting its use to a ring project! The ladder stitch projects could have had more oomph to them but really, that's just a minor point to an otherwise well thought out and illustrated book.

One of my favorite stitches is the spiral and Weiss made sure three different spiral stitches are covered - the basic spiral, flat spiral and the double spiral.

The necklace projects which incorporate tubular herringbone, tubular netting, tubular peyote, daisy chain, St Petersburg chain or RAW are not just standalone projects but are ideally suited for pendant additions. So once learned, the focus could be on adding a beaded cabochon using the peyote bezel project in this book or even a wire work pendant.

For the other "why didn't they come out with this book while I was learning" book check out my review on the Absolute Beginner's Guide: Stringing Beaded Jewelry.

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