Sunday, 12 January 2014

Book Review: The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting by Elizabeth Lovick

'The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting' by Elizabeth Lovick is one of those rare books which make you feel as if you are at a serious workshop while retaining a friendliness and accessibility which is essential for nervous knitters and newbies.



The first section of this book is quite exhaustive. She covers the history of Shetland lace and story of the sheep breeds on the islands, complete with stunning photos and a description of arriving on the plane - 'We bank sharply and lose more height, the runway comes into view, jutting out into the sea, the rolling waves breaking on to the tarmac. We land safely.'



All the basics are covered, yarn, needles, knots, reading a chart (a whole page), joining in colours, picking up stitches, dealing with mistakes and dressing lace (blocking). Then she starts advancing a little more and branching out into designing, constructing shapes, charting and putting motifs together. At this point you're thinking 'this is quite awesome, a whole page or two on how to chart my pattern, wow'. But then there are pages on designing with frames, designing a stole, a scarf and a christening gown. Pretty satisfying. I would definitely say all my questions about lace were answered in this section.



Next comes the stitch directory which contains around 70 edgings and traditional Shetland motifs displayed very clearly and knitted in beautiful yarn in delicious colours. At the end of the book you get seven patterns to practice your skills, which of course can be knitted in a different lace pattern to the one shown using the stitch directory.



Overall I would definitely say this is a fabulous buy if you are a beginner or an intermediate knitter looking for a new challenge. Lace isn't so difficult, and the only thing you may struggle with is reading charts but Elizabeth expected this and solved it with her page on reading charts. She also has full website details at the back of the book.



'The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting' by Elizabeth Lovick is available from the Search Press website.

Thanks once again to Search Press for sending me this book to review at my request.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am left handed, never could master knitting as a child, my dear right handed granny sat me on her knee and from behind me managed to work out how to teach me to knit. Never really hooked until my first child was born and was sent wool and a pattern from a friend, well, I couldn't waste this gift so after much casting on, ripping back eventually mastered the little jumper.
From then on I wanted to learn more and knitted for all my 3 children's and nieces/nephews. I found a free download for a cats paw scarf which set me on the road to lace knitting. I acquired a Templetons H&O Shetland lace shawl pattern price 5pence, took many attempts - the knitting was fine, herringbone stitch beat me so grafted the joins which were not perfect but a start! A couple of months ago I came across The magic of Shetland Lace knitting in my local library, borrowed it, read it, and suddenly lace knitting made sense. But you cannot keep a library book ( well I can't as I knit slowly) so I bought this lovely book which inspired me to keep going, I just finished the hap shawl and was amazed that it turned out so well. Now started on the 1 ply lacy shawl, border first is new to me but hope that I can achieve a good result - I find that concentration on charts helps memory and keeping the brain sharp. Thank you so much for this inspiration book of lace!

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