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Review: The Art of Knitted Lace


First, the facts:

Title: The Art of Knitted Lace: With Complete Lace How-To and Dozens of Patterns

Author: Kristin Omdahl

Published by: Potter Craft, 2010

Pages: 176

Type: Patterns.


1. Lace Basics
2. Romantic Lace
3. Runway Lace
4. Casual Lace

Art of Knitted Lace

The In-Depth Look:

This book is filled with some really lovely lace designs by some very talented designers like Annie Modesitt, Lisa Lloyd, Berta Karapetyan, Melissa Matthay, Phoenix Bess and more.

It’s a nice collection, too. Sweaters, wraps, hats, scarves, vests, stockings, skirts … a little of everything, though pretty much all designs for women–but then, most men prefer not to dress in lace.

However, there is one thing you need to know.

Not all the designs are new. I started paging through my copy thinking, “That looks familiar.” “How strange, I could swear I’d seen that before.” It was like one of those eerie deja-vu experiences–I’d turn the page and be immediately struck by how familiar the design was. And not just the design, but the photograph, the model, the pose, the lighting …

It turns out that many (if not all) the designs in this book are reprints from other books … they just don’t bother to tell you in advance.

Now, of the six books that contributed designs to this one, I’ve only seen two of them, so many designs here were entirely new to me. Of the two, one of them didn’t survive our house-moving last November, so it was actually kind of pleasant to see some of those designs again. But I want you to be warned that, if you own more than one of the contributing books, you should expect to see duplicates in here.

Having said that, do I think that this is a good collection? I do. The designs are generally beautiful and well worth having a second chance at being seen by people who may have missed their debuts. I wonder a bit that the original photos were re-used (since I had issues with the photos in A Fine Fleece despite their loveliness), but it would probably have been prohibitively costly to reshoot them all … it’s just that each photo was specifically styled to fit its original book, and the look and lighting don’t always mesh in this new book.

I don’t want you to think that I didn’t like the book, because I did. It’s got some beautiful designs. If I had bought the book, though, expecting all new designs only to stumble across a dozen of them that I already have in other books, I would have been upset. This is like snatching up a brand-new book by a favorite author only to find it’s a reprint of one of her old books, just with a new title and cover art. That’s reasonable enough from the publisher’s point of view, but something they should really tell you up-front, instead of hiding it in the back matter. “Some of these designs are reprints from…”.

Which books? “A Fine Fleece,” “Runway Knits,” “It Girl Knits,” “Knits Three Ways,” “The Knitter’s Book of Yarn,” and “Romantic Hand Knits.”

This collection can be found at Amazon.com.

Want to see bigger pictures? Click here.

This review copy was kindly donated by Potter Craft. Thank you!

My Gush: Nice collection.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Karen Backilman July 12, 2010, 8:37 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I already own 3 of the books. I had the problem with different titles when I ordered a book and found I owned it under a different title and cover in the Rowan England publication.
    Love your site.
    Don’t remember if you have done the new lace stitches book by Vogue. Great to use along with Crazy Lace.

  • --Deb July 12, 2010, 9:40 am

    Several of those books are out of print, of course, and I have no problem with the publisher and the authors getting a second chance at some nice designs, but wish it said more clearly that this was a collection of previous designs. It’s spelled out in the back matter, but not on the cover or (if I remember correctly) in the introduction–which it SHOULD be–if only to avoid ticking off their readers.

    I can think of several fiction writers whose publishers re-issued old books under new titles with no real effort at informing people they were older books, and it just makes for angry readers. New covers, new art, new titles are all well and good, but a heads-up for long-time readers who bought the book when it first came up is only fair.

    And, you’re welcome!

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