Top positive review
56 people found this helpful
Fascinating, but not for the faint of heart.
on 20 May 1998
My aunt told me once that the best way to learn a knitting technique was to pick a project that you really wanted to do, and then just do it with no fear of the potential difficulty. This is the ideal book for that philosophy.
The comments on the history of knitting and lace shawls are extremely interesting, as are the sections on shawl care and how to wear a shawl. I would have liked to see a little more description of how a traditional shetland lace shawl was made using the old techniques, especially the actual process of "grafting" as that is a new term to me despite 30 years of knitting experience. There is really no discussion of elementary knitting, but that is not inappropriate for an audience of advanced knitters. There are already a lot of books out there to teach how to cast on and do the basic stitches.
There are patterns for eight shawls in this book, but what I found fascinating was the possibility to design an unlimited number of your own unique creations. She breaks the elements of design down into simple steps with advice for choosing patterns for each section and intructions on how to shape and combine the different elements. There are pages and pages of beautiful lace patterns to use for the body, border, and edgings. It's the ultimate yarn puzzle book and it makes me itch to get my fingers on some good one-ply wool.