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Victorian Lace Today

by Jane Sowerby

photography by Alexis Xenakis

Rating: 5 sheep

Knitters, clear off your coffee tables!!! You'll need room to put out this amazing book on lace knitting. The title, Victorian Lace Today, barely scratches the surface of what is inside this book. Of course there are lovely patterns for lace scarves and shawls of all skill levels. The patterns range from simple to elaborate, but all of them are beautiful. Well-written patterns combined with clear charts and instructions make even the most challenging of these patterns accessible to most knitters. What makes this book even more special is the exhaustively detailed historical information about the mothers of lace knitting and their patterns. This historical information combined with a discussion of the social climate of Victorian society and the rise of knitting as a leisure activity for ladies of the middle and upper classes add an unusual dimension to this book. I especially enjoyed reading the background of how changing Victorian fashion and social rules influenced the styles of shawls and scarves The photography by Alexis Xenakis ranges from detailed shots of the knitted items to incredibly beautiful interior and exterior shots of locations around England. The "Techniques, Tools and Talk" section at the end of the book explains the various skills needed for the patterns with good diagrams and understandable instructions. A section on charts, another on design principles and guidelines for blocking make this fantastic book a one-stop shop for everything you need to start and master lace knitting. I recommend that you check this book out, even if you are still hesitant to try lace. Jane Sowerby's book might be the little push that you need to get into the joy of knitting lace.

 

Respectfully submitted, Ginny Zschau

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