This is the first I Can book I've reviewed, and I'm impressed by the super-sturdy binding and thick, durable pages. I'm sure it will stand up to wear over time. It's a large book, measuring a little over 11 inches tall, just over 4.5 inches wide, and 3/8 inch thick.
The table of contents includes a photo collage key to all of the projects, making it easier to find designs that interest you.
In the introduction, the author describes how she first learned beading as a way to relax and de-stress, learning from books when there weren't any beadweaving classes available. Initially she became frustrated with trying to learn right-angle weave, because most books glossed over details and didn't include enough helpful diagrams. Now that she's mastered the stitch, she set out to make this book the one that she wishes she'd had as a beginner.
The very first chapter covers basic tools and materials in a succinct manner. It includes the most basic information you need to get started, including facts about beading thread types and sizes, jewelry findings, and tools.
Organization and Projects
Each chapter focuses on a specific technique and begins with an explanation of that skill along with diagrams. Those basics are followed by several projects (per chapter) ranging from easier to more challenging. In all, there are seven technique/project chapters and 25 projects.
The most valuable attribute of this books is its use of clear diagrams that show bead placement and thread paths. And because the pages are large and multi-columned, the publisher was able to fit quite a few of them in.
The projects include simple designs (like some you've probably seen before), as well as more unique, imaginative designs with especially interesting colors and textures. There are necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, some of which use creative variations on right-angle weave. Those include circular stitches with varying sizes of beads, dimensional techniques, and embellishing to create the look of a beaded netting overlay.
Here's a complete chapter list, along with project counts per chapter:
Chapter 1: Materials & Tools
Chapter 2: Basic Flat RAW (4 projects)
Chapter 3: Increasing & Decreasing (4 projects)
Chapter 4: Embellishing (4 projects)
Chapter 5: Curves (3 projects)
Chapter 6: Going Tubular (3 projects)
Chapter 7: Polygon Stitch, a Variation of RAW (4 projects)
Chapter 8: Beaded Beads (3 projects)
If you're a visual learner and would like to learn, or get better at, right-angle weave, I truly think you'll love this book. The diagrams are immensely helpful, and many of the projects are more interesting than you often find for free online. Don't be put off by the simplistic name of the series; this is a sophisticated beading book.