One of the books I’ve been most proud of during my time so far with Distributed Proofreaders has been The Encyclopedia of Needlework. It really was a labour of love (and a little hate) over about a two year period.
It’s a 19th century text, which hasn’t been out of print (in English) since then. This is the English translation of the original French and there has been a German translation as well. The German version is planned to go through Distributed Proofreaders as well (if it hasn’t already started). The text covers most forms of needlework including knitting, crochet, macramé, lace, embroidery, tapestry and others. It gives details of tools, techniques and patterns and is heavily illustrated throughout (which is what made it so difficult to process).
I’ve already received comments from various people on how useful it will be and how pleased they are that it’s available but today I got a message from a friend about something completely unrelated that led me to take a look at her blog. I hadn’t been there for a while so had a little wander round and discovered that she’s actually working on a needlepoint lace project from the Encyclopedia! I spent so long working on these illustrations and thinking about how beautiful some of these pieces would look that I’m just unbelievably chuffed to discover that someone is actually using it to make something. I can’t wait to see the finished piece.
If you’re interested in other books like this, the crafts bookshelf on Project Gutenberg is a good place to start looking. There are lots of non-needlework crafts on there too; taxidermy, anyone?