Sunday, September 07, 2008

How To Read A Book 

Everyone has that ONE mega needlework book that would required for being stranded on a desert island. Mine is The Needleworker's Dictionary by Pamela Clabburn. It is 296 pages of well researched and well written information.

As with many books of this sort that are compilations of information, it is not meant to be read cover to cover in a race with the clock. It is meant to be dipped into.

I like to open it at random and read just one page well. It is allowed to continue to the next page if the first page cuts an entry off partially finished.

Page 74 is rich in entries including the idea that cutwork (16th/17th century) is considered the forerunner of all the needlemade laces. The illustration unfortunately is black and white but is recognizable to me as a piece of silk/gold embroidery in the V&A collection with the brides made of gold passing. Known as opus scissum.

Also a thought provoking entry on cushion work (opus pulvinarium) and the various opinions as to the meaning and execution of work designated as opus pulvinarium.

Other entries on the page include cut canvas work, cut-cloth flower embroidery, cutting gauge and cuttlefish.

Better to have read one page well than many pages superficially.

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