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The master of puns is at it again! I must admit though, even though I read like maniac, I had no idea what the word "crewel" meant. I had to look it up. Apparently it's a type of yarn used in embroidery, or etching. It's also called worsted yarn, which is the term I had heard before. "Lye," for those who don't know,is a type of solution, in fact any solution "resulting from leaching, percolation, or the like." (dictionary.com)
The title of the book "Crewel Lye" is a play on the more familiar words "Cruel Lie," which is exactly what the ghost Jordan had fallen victim too. He never really understood what had happened though, and when he tried to view the magic tapestry in the castle that shows the history of Xanth, it was too dirty for him to view the scenes of his life properly. So Princess Ivy goes to the Good Magician and he gives her a substance, a crewel lye, to use on the tapestry.
After the tapestry has been cleaned, Ivy and Jordan are able to view his adventures while he was still alive, and discover what had happened to him. You see, Jordan's magical power is the ability to heal himself, even to the point of regenerating missing limbs! However, whoever killed him scattered the pieces of his body so far apart that even his incredible gift couldn't restore him. Now it's time for him to have another chance at life.