• Percy Le MooMoo

Lace Knitting Favourite Titles

Lace knitting can strike fear in the hearts of many an experienced knitter. From picking up lost stitches, pattern repeats, shaping , it can be a minefield of despair but approached with "what's the worst that can happen??", lace knitting is incredibly rewarding and produces works of beauty . I was in "this be witchcraft" camp for many years but after dipping my toe in last year I quickly became hugely addicted. Be warned!!

I'm currently working on the finishing details of the Binky Shawl which will be published hopefully before the summer is over but before I do I wanted to share with you some of my favourite lace titles out there and some expert advice and patterns you can find online.

For me the first 3 titles are the Holy Trinity of Lace Books

1. The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting - Elizabeth Lovick

This was my first book on lace knitting , it covers all the basics techniques including working from charts, constructing shawls, and dealing with mistakes. It has an excellent stitch dictionary and several patterns to get you started. It's a marvelous place to get started and is a great reference tool.

2. A Legacy of Shetland Lace - The Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers & Dyers

21 Different projects , all graded by skill level by some of Shetland's authority names in lace knitting. Some of these have been used as teaching aids so this book is an ideal place to develop your skills and build confidence.

3. Heirloom Knitting - Sharon Miller

If you only ever buy one book on Lace Knitting , you wouldn't go far wrong on this one! This is possibly one of the most exquisite books I posses and is a result of years of research into the craft of Shetland Lace Knitting. Sharon covers the history of knitting in Shetland and the book is full of beautiful photographs of traditional shawls. There is an exhaustive stitch dictionary, chapters on construction and technique and also some beautiful patterns of heirloom pieces. Not for the beginner but certainly something to aspire to.

4. Victorian Lace Today - Jane Sowerby

Another weighty volume and excellent value , Jane looks at the history of Victorian lace knitting and again there is plenty of information on technique. The book has 40 patterns all beautifully photographed , charted and covering all skill sets.

5. Knitting Lace Triangles - Evelyn A. Clark

I believe this may be out of print but you can easily pick up used copies on Amazon and Ebay. This little book was a light bulb moment for me and if you want to have a go at designing your own shawls it very simply shows you how to knit knit lace triangles....pretty much what it says on the tin, a simple guide to construction with some invaluable knowledge thrown in!

There are loads more fabulous lace designers out there and I really would advise you to check out Ravelry for their patterns Romi Hill, Anna Dalvi and Boo Knits design some beautiful shawl patterns . Anna Dalvi's book on Shawl Shaping is also a really good reference book for budding designers.

Monique Boonstra designs beautiful fine lace patterns which are available on her Etsy store, (Passion For Lace) and Ravelry, she also runs a great Facebook Group "Fine Shetland Lace" which is another spot for inspiration and advice if you're thinking of giving lace knitting a go.

I would also recommend Anniken Allis, another really talented designer who has some wonderful shawl patterns on Ravelry and is famous for her beaded designs. She also has a very active Facebook Group "Love of Lace Knitting " where you can share hints, tips and yarn loveliness with other lace knitting addicts.

Nothing looks quite as stunning as a lace shawl beautifully blocked and even with the most simple motifs you can produce something that will receive countless "0oooh's and aaaah's" . Lace always seems to grow quickly and you can make something gorgeous with just a ball of sock yarn. I would certainly suggest joining a Facebook group for some support and ideas or even join in with a KAL , after that the world's your lobster. I'd love to hear how you get along or hear your suggestions for other great lace knitting books and designers.

Percy x

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