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Beader's Handbook is the encyclopedia for beaders

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The Beader's Handbook 2017
For those new to beading (like me), going to a beading store can be downright overwhelming, what with all those little boxes and bins and tubes filled with every kind of bead, finding, and crystal imaginable. I feel like I need my own personal tour guide every time I enter one of them. It might be my lack of patience. I'm not a browser. I'm more of an in and out, let's get this over with kinda gal. 

Even looking at a list of supplies and instructions for a beading project can be overwhelming. How do I know what to do? How am I ever going to learn all of these tools and terms? How can I tell one bead from another? Not to mention all of the stitches and techniques. 

So, when I opened up The Beader's Handbook 2017, I felt like I finally had the missing piece to help me figure out this puzzle called beading. It is such a fantastic reference guide — everything I need to know is all in one spot. As long as I have this encyclopedic guide available to reference, I think it will all make sense. From an overview of the basic tools and supplies that every beader needs to thorough explanations of everything from basic stitches to complex techniques, my dear friends at Bead&Button magazine have shared a wealth of knowledge in an easy-to-follow format.

The Handbook begins with an extensive "Getting Started" section with basics on the different types of thread and cord and tips on how to thread a needle. An illustrated three-page story showing a bunch of different bead shapes, along with separate guides to different styles of crystals and pearls, will be useful in helping me sort through the dizzying array of bead choices. A separate page explaining seed bead finishes is great-to-know background info. The charts showing how many seed beads needed for several stitches might not be too meaningful to me yet, but it's wonderful to know it's there for future reference.

Page after page is filled with illustrated guides of how to do every kind of stitching technique — peyote, netting, ladder stitch, brick stitch, herringbone stitch, right-angle weave, fringe, bead embroidery, spirals & helixes, chevron chain, chenille stitch, St. Petersburg Chain, and more. Then, they get into the really fancy stuff like how to combine stitches, how to make peyote bezels in various shapes and sizes, and how to make beaded clasps to finish your projects.

As if that isn't enough, the remaining third of the book is filled with beautiful projects to practice all of those techniques! It's a real gem.

With this special issue in hand, my next trip to the bead store won't seem so overwhelming — I might even try to browse a little.

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