Knitting Lace, a book review for you!
I love lace knitting. What can I say? It has always intrigued me, a little like a professor years ago telling our British History class that she wasn’t going into the “Wars of the Roses” because it was “too complicated, with too many players” to talk about. THAT got me motivated enough to read about it on my own, and now I know quite a bit about that tumultuous 15th century. So if you’re interested, you can contact me for my favorite “Roses” books.
Knitting lace can be “complicated.” Well, seemingly. That’s the secret! 😉 It looks incredibly involved and you see it on a shawl or a scarf and say “yikes, I can’t do that!”
Well, guess again, yes you can! All you do is follow the pattern. Or the chart. (I prefer patterns.)
To get things started, I’d like to talk about a book called Knitting Lace by Susanna Lewis.
If the cover photo looks a little dated, that’s because this book was out of print and then brought back for our knitting benefit! Susanna Lewis begins her book with a look at historical knitting and how patterns and pieces from so long ago still make an impact on our knitting today. The sampler she talked about is housed in the Brooklyn Museum. (Now that’s a fun place to spend an afternoon, just don’t take the Hamilton Pkwy. to get there; your car’s tires might not make it!)
This sampler was knitted by someone who make it over 15 feet long and included 91 different lace patterns into it! Can you imagine? Ms. Lewis has taken these patterns and incorporated them into her book with instructions on each one.
This alone makes this knitting tome well worth the money! But, wait there’s more!
Lewis gives us a look at the basics of lace knitting and beyond. She introduces aspects of lace knitting that are not all found in other places. She talks about how these patterns can in used in other crafts such as needlepoint or crochet. (My grandmother would have loved that!) And remember, nowadays we have computer programs that can easily transform a written pattern into a chart for knitting lace!
Let me back up. You see, lace knitting is often done by following charts. Any intricate knit pattern is followed along on a chart. In fact, here’s a quote from a very happy buyer: 🙂
“It’s part 2 that’s going to knock your handknit socks off. In the second half, the author takes everything she learned from charting all those lace patterns and shares it with you. Just knowing how to follow a lace pattern and knit it is not the same as understanding it,She explores what makes knitted lace in the first place, the motifs you can expect, how increases and decreases balance each other and add shape. There can be medallions of patterns or long, vertical edgings, and the only thing limiting you is your imagination.”
And five star reviews say it all, too! You can read about those right here!
Knitting Lace by Susanna Lewis
will teach you everything you need to know about openwork or lace knitting. It may seem a little daunting when you first skip through it; but, keep going back. Every time you do, you will gain a better understanding of just how lace knitting works! It’s just like those history lessons I recall from long ago: what you think is too complicated to learn is quite easy when you chunk-it-down-into-easy-steps.
Now, if you ask me what exactly happened to Henry VI, I can tell you with ease that someone in the employ of Henry IV took care of that weak king. Not even Henry’s wife, Margaret of Anjou, could save the day. But Henry would pay for his sins . . .
Knitting Lace by Susanna Lewis is a MUST READ for every knitter interested in learning how to successfully knit in the openwork style. Included is a glossary and easy to follow patterns. All you’re ever going to work on is one pattern at a time; and if you know how to yarnover and knit two together, then you’re ready for Knitting Lace!
As always, take your knitting to heart!