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Review: Heirloom Knitting


First, the facts:

Title: Heirloom Knitting: A Shetland Lace Knitter’s Pattern and Workbook

Author: Sharon Miller

Published by: Shetland Times Ltd, 2002

Pages: 295

Type: Design and Patterns.


1. Introduction
2. Knitting Advice
3. Patterns
4. Design
5. Projects
6. Miscellany

Heirloom Knitting

Pattern Size Range: N/A

The In-Depth Look:

Do you like knitted lace? Does knitting lace make your heart beat faster? Do you drool over Wedding ring shawls?

This may well be the book for you.

It’s not full simply of patterns for shawls and such that you can knit (though it has them). No, this is a complete compendium of Shetland Lace. And when I say “complete” I really mean complete. Exhaustive, in fact. If you have a question about Shetland lace chances are the answer is in this book.

Sharon Miller starts off with a history of lace knitting in the Shetland isles, and then moves into technical details about knitting techniques (cast-ons, yarn joins, and the like). Next comes stitch patterns. Dozens of lace patterns, sorted by type (centers, borders, edgings) and difficulty. This alone makes this a great resource.

But wait, there’s more! (As they say) The next section is a thorough, detailed examination of how these shawls (and other lace garments) are put together. The proportions, the construction, how to handle the designs at the corners. Everything. And then this is folowed by a collection of her own designs, which are always fabulous. Not just shawls, but christening gowns and lace edgings.

Oh, this is beautiful stuff.

Now, it must be said that most of the illustrations are in black and white, but this doesn’t hurt the book at all, since most of the illustrations are showing off the LACE, and that’s most easily done by white-on-black photographs. There are some color photos, though, if that’s important to you. The index is thorough, the details are incredible.
I should tell you, this is NOT a cheap book. In fact, I think it’s the most expensive book I have in my library, at something like $45. But I will also tell you that this is one book I will NOT give up. It’s fantastic. The lace is inspiring, the patterns exquisite. It’s worth every penny.

This fantastic, if somewhat expensive, book is available at amazon.com.

(Sorry, no links for bigger pictures.)

My Gush: In a word? Sublime. Lace knitter’s nirvana.

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