|Chinese Knotting by Lydia Chen
ISBN 0 8048 1389 2, hardcover, 116 pages, full color, ECHO Publishing Company, Ltd., 5-2 Pa Teh Road, Section 4, Lane 72, Alley 16 Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China, phone 02-763-1452
Helby Imports Company provided this courtesy copy for review, their stock number BK1993. Helby offers this book to retail bead and fiber stores and you must be a qualified reseller to order from them. Email at email@example.com , website http://www.helby.com , call at 908-474-1000, fax 908-474-2100, Helby Import Company, 501 South Park Avenue, Linden, NJ 07036. Check their website for the The Double Coin Knot project with beads using the techniques from page 42 of this book.
Chinese Knotting is an ancient artform and artifacts can be found as far back as 100,000 years ago. Chinese knotted designs include symbolism, tradition and storytelling. Lydia Chen begins with an introduction and then immediately bedazzles us with color images of beautiful knotted fiber with and jade and other precious pendants hanging below the knotting. Origin& History takes us through a journey in time with historical information and photographs of ancient knotted relics. Then we are swept into Getting Started which lists tools and materials required, and yes, there is the crochet hook, ever useful as a tool for many activities besides crocheting. Step-by-step photographs take you through the process of knotting; tying, tightening and finishing. Page 40 explains how to follow the instructions and is a guide for all the knots. You start out with Basic Knots, Double Coin Knot, Double Connection Knot, Sauvastika Knot, Cross Knot, Cloverleaf Knot, Good Luck Knot, Button Knot, Pan Chang Knot, Round Brocade Knot, Plafond Knot and the Flat Knot. These are all easy to make and there are illustrations for each knot. Each chapter includes explanations and the meaning of specific knots. Each knot has Tying and Hints information for making the knot. Compound Knots is the next group of knots and is more complex, however, if you follow each illustration, they are not extremely difficult to follow. If you are a beginner in bead and fiber work, stick with the Basic Knots chapter until you have made several knots before attempting the more complex knots. Ju l Knot, Brocade Ball Knot, Longevity Knot, Double Happiness Knot, Dragon Knot, Dragonfly Knot, Butterfly Knot, Long Pan Chang Knot, Stone Chime Knot, Double Diamond Knot, Crane Knot, Phoenix Knot, Fish Knot and Ten-Accord Knot are in this chapter. These knots form a variety of shapes, the Stone Chime and the Double Diamond Knot are some of my favorites. Besides being made into jewelry, these knots can be tacked down and added to embroidery and other work including clothing. The Phoenix Knot really looks like a bird and the Fish Knot looks like a fish. Creative Applications is an "idea" chapter with pieces worked together to get you stimulated and the creativity flowing. I already had several ideas before I reached this chapter and now they are offering more! There are 41 ideas with a breakdown of how the piece was put together and which techniques to use. You can create jewelry, belts, hair comb delights; embellish clothing, hats and hanging planters; make purse fasteners, shoe ornaments and wallhangings using the instructions in this book. The type of fiber used will dictate the type of item you are going to make; use thicker fiber for big items and very thin fine fibers such as silk for small jewelry and clothing embellishments. Repeat a knot making five or seven and then sew them onto a vest or hat, repetition is pleasing to the eye. Beads can be added to any of the knots for texture and variety. If you want to use a thick cord to make the knot and also want small beads added, run beading thread with beads along with the thicker cord. This book can give you ideas to keep you busy for the next three years and then some. These knots could be added to quilting, cross-stitch, beading, crochet, knitting and many other specialty crafts. I am planning to do some beadacious designing using the the knots in this book. This is an excellent reference book for knots and I know I will be using mine often. Chinese Knotting is full of color creations just waiting for you to put them together. Thank you Lydia Chen for this excellent book.