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on 23 November 2010
Margaret Stove has researched knitted lace from all over the world and documents the very best traditions and techniques. She has designed some truly astonishing shawls and I stand in awe at her work.

There are no basic knitting instructions (this book is definitely not aimed at a beginner or intermediate knitter). The charts are huge. Some of the techniques are fascinating and may not have been written about anywhere else. There is a section on repairing damaged knitted lace which would be invaluable if (heaven forbid) a piece of work had a hole torn or worn.

The shawls in this book are so fine and so sophisticated I for one stand little hope of ever knitting one! (having said that, the "Rosebud Faroese" shawl looks promising for a first project, but I'll still approach it with caution, a good light and lots of patience)

The "Rata" scarf is an oblong knitted in one piece following Shetland tradition with a lovely edging and may well become my second project.

The "filmy fern shawl" is not only incredibly beautiful but it uses an ingenious method of knitting all the pointed edging continuously and then working from edges to centre. I think you should allow yourself a couple of years if you plan to tackle this, but start it well before retirement or your eyes may give out!

I was very pleased to see that details are provided of a UK supplier for the very fine yarns used in these shawls.

All in all, beautiful, delicate, intricate, airy, and ambitious! One for any good collection
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on 20 December 2010
A lovely book. Discusses the history of lace knitting in various countries, and a short tutorial. Not a book for the beginner.
Beautiful patterns. I want to make all of them!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 29 November 2010
You might wish to add this book to your knitting collection simply because of the beautiful designs. These fine shawls are for the fearless and dedicated knitter with much experience. They are knitted entirely from charts, often very complex charts. If you are unfamiliar with the symbols used on charts, you have to flick backwards are forwards to understand the charts - this is not very helpful when you are trying to follow a complex pattern. You could simplify one of the scarves as a beginner by just knitting the central panel. However, this is a challenging book, full of patterns to show off your skill as a knitter. The patterns are incredible and a credit to Margaret. There is even help for those wishing to design their own shawl patterns. The book is a journey and tribute to heirloom designs. This review first appeared on Karen Platt's book review website.
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on 18 June 2013
The designs are wonderful, the language is clear, the photographs are beautiful, the charts are complete. What can I say?
I haven't started any projects from this book yet, but that's not because I don't want to, but because I've got enough work right now.
One minor gripe: there's a design not in the book, but downloadable from Interweave Knits, which means registering as a member there. Why? I bought the book and would expect to get all designs featured in there without any extra steps. Oh well, still worth every penny.
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on 16 February 2012
I have knitted several Shetland shawls, some very intricate, but none of the patterns were so hard to understand as the patterns in this book. It seems to have been written and charted in an overly complicated way and the writer has written it assuming all who read it will be as experienced as she so obviously is. A bit like computer experts talking to novice users and using jargon the novice will not understand.
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on 21 February 2013
Beautiful book! Lovely patterns. Can't wait to get started. I'm an experienced knitter and have made everything from toys, to blankets, aran jumpers, fair isle and lace patterns in heavier yarns. I'm looking forward to doing 'fine' work.
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on 30 December 2011
A beautiful book. You need to be experienced to follow this book. Instructions are not for those new to shawl knitting. However, it is well written and presented.
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on 13 November 2011
... you need this book. I saw the Filmy Fern shawl at an exhibition and it was the star of the show. It's on my 'to do' list: I need to find the right yarn. The patterns in this book are wonderful: I suspect I'll end up doing more than one of them. They NEED knitting!
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All the designs are beautiful and it was lovely to see them together to get a feel on how they are both similar and different at the same time. This booking is probably best suited to knitters with some experience of lace and charts . The tips and discussions for example on the effect of stocking stitch ground or garter stitch ground are very informative. I bought this book for inspiration and reference and it certainly delivers both.
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on 9 February 2015
This is the most beautiful and informative book on lace I have ever seen. Margaret Stove is clearly a master at lace knitting. There are lots of hints and explanations that come from real experience. But the projects look really hard - not for the beginner. When I complete my current shawl I'm definitely getting the needles out for one of these projects.
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