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Thursday, December 17, 2015

From My Book Shelf - My favourite lace knitting books

I'm starting a new series on my favourite knitting books. Today I thought I'd share my favourite lace knitting books with you. 10 years ago I had no knitting books at all. Now I have several shelves full. I try to only buy books that will teach me something because I rarely have time to knit any of the patterns from any of the beautiful books I own. Before I start, I'd like to make it clear that these are all books that I've bought over the years and none of these books have been given to me for review. So the views I express are my own.

When I looked through my shelves to decide on which books to include I realised that most of the books I own are a favourite but I don't want this list to be too long so I narrowed it down to my very favourite books. I've included Amazon links but please note that these are not affiliate links and these books can probably be purchased elsewhere. It's just easier for me to include Amazon links. But please check your local LYS or book shop too.


1. The book that has had the most impact on my lace knitting career is Jane Sowerby's Victorian Lace Today. In fact, I credit this book for starting my lace knitting obsession. I was given this book as a Christmas present when it was first published and before this I'd done a little tiny bit of lace knitting but looking through this beautiful book made me realise how stunning lace could be. 

I've knitted a couple of designs from this book. A shawl for myself and one for my Mum. If you're interested in the history of lace knitting then this book includes notes on lace knitting during the Victorian era. All the designs are inspired by the Victorian era. This book includes 37 patterns, mainly for shawls but a few scarves too. The photos are taken at British stately homes and there are notes and behind the scenes photos in the back of the book.

There's also a comprehensive techniques section and each patterns includes charts, written instructions and schematics. This book is the perfect coffee table book and even if you don't get around to knitting from it, it's such an inspiration to just flick through it from time to time. 

I've met Jane a couple of times and she's such a lovely lady and I'm so thankful to this book for kick starting my lace knitting obsession.

2. Another design who's inspired my love for lace knitting is Margaret Stove. I have two of her books and a video on spinning lace weight yarn. The book I'm including here is 'Wrapped in lace'. This book includes interesting historical notes from Margaret. Margaret was commissioned to design, spin the yarn for and knit a Christening shawl for Prince William when he was born. This was an official gift from New Zealand to the Royal Family and the book includes a chapter on this shawl and other shawls Margaret was commissioned to design.

This book includes 12 shawls and scarves inspired by traditonal Shetland and Orenburg lace as well as New Zealand flowers. There's a comprehensive technique section. But what I love most in this book are the historical notes and stories from Maragret's life that's scattered through the book.

3. Arctic Lace was the first book by Donna Druchunas I bought. I've since bought other books by Donna and I can also highly recommend Donna's Successful Lace Knitting and I will review her new book on Lithuanian knitting very soon.

Arctic Lace is inspired by Alaska's native knitters. Donna includes history of their knitting traditions as well as stories from her travels in Alaska. As well as 11 patterns for a variety of accessories, the book includes a 'Designing your own' section with a stitch library and notes on using these patterns in your own design. 

I highly recommend this book if you want more than just a pattern book. There's lots of history and info on Alaskan knitting in this book including the incredibly luxurious 'qiviut' fibre (which is one of the most expensive fibres in the world and which is gorgeous to knit with).


4. 'The magic of Shetland lace knitting' is written by Liz Lovick who is from the Orkneys. She specialises in traditional knitting including lace knitting, Fair Isle and ganseys.

As well as the patterns for a variety of accessories this book includes a comprehensive stitch dictionary which is one of the things I use this book for. There's also Shetland lace knitting history here.

If you're a designer, an aspiring designer or a lace knitter who loves traditional lace knitting, and would like to learn more about Shetland lace knitting then definitely get this book.


5. Estonia is well known for lace knitting so I have to include Nancy Bush' 'Knitted lace of Estonia' . Estonian lace knitting is particularly known for including nupps which personally I'm not that keen on but instead of nupps you can always substitute beads.

This is a beautiful book though. As well as the 14 patterns for shawls and scarves there is historical information, technique chapter and an Estonian lace stitch dictionary.


6. 'Lovely knitted lace' by Brooke Nico is a beautiful book of modern designs for shawls and garments. Brooke takes four basic shapes usually used for shawls and uses these shapes to create 16 stunning projects. 

If you love the look of lace shawls but don't wear them then you may prefer this book. I wish I had time to knit the circular 'shawl/cardigan' on the cover. It's stunning.



And finally, I have to include my own book, Beaded Lace Knitting, a collection of 25 beautiful designs for shawls, scarves, garments and accessories. There's a comprehensive techniques chapter with clear, close up photos.

You can buy a signed copy of Beaded Lace Knitting or look for it online or in your favourite book or yarn shop.

Look out for more book recommendations in the future. I'm planning a post on my favourite knitting reference books and next week, I'll be reviewing Donna Druchunas' new book, 'Lithuanian Knitting'.


1 comment:

Pamela Gross said...

Amazingly I have four of your favourite books. Great minds eh?