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Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls Paperback – January 1, 1998


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Frequently Bought Together

Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls + The Gossamer Webs Design Collection: Three Orenburg Shawls to Knit + The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting: Stitches, Techniques, and Projects for Lighter-than-Air Shawls & More
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Interweave; Revised edition (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883010489
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883010485
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Waterman's contribution to Interweave's new "Lace Knitting" series is a revised edition of her Traditional Knitted & Lace Shawls (Dos Tejedores, 1993. o.p.). If your library is lucky enough to have the earlier edition, you might want to hold on to it because the color photographs and many of the illustrations in the first edition were not included in this revision. Be aware, however, that one of the reasons for the revision was to correct errors in several of the shawl patterns, which were also rewritten for clarity. Waterman includes step-by-step instructions for knitting eight shawls as well as information on materials, design, stitch patterns (newly charted for this edition), shaping, and incorporating stitch patterns into shawl designs. Recommended for public libraries and textile crafts collections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Martha Waterman, of Janesville, Iowa, teaches, writes about, and creates traditional needlework, including quilting, spinning, knitting, and crochet-lacemaking. She is a fifth-generation needlewoman who specializes in the traditions of her Irish, Welsh, Scots, and English ancestry. Raised in a family skilled in traditional handcrafts, she was taught needlework at an early age by her mother and grandmother. Her quilt work has been exhibited nationally, and her articles appear regularly in national publications.


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Customer Reviews

If you like to follow patterns, the Kerry Blue Shawl is just terrific.
Joanna Daneman
This is an excellent book for those advanced enough to design their own knitted lace patterns, and a great reference book for those of us who are aspiring to do so.
Juli Wyant
The majority of the book is actually dedicated to designing shawls, and provides several lace stitch patterns as well as border/finishing patterns.
A. Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
Shawls are very "in" right now, and nothing is more stunning than a lacy shawl in a great color. Martha Waterman's book is very unique in that it has a little something for every knitter; if you are new to lace knitting, there are some not-very-difficult but really nice-looking shawl patterns. Some are written out row by row if you don't like charts (I do like charts--the symbols are quicker to read for me, but some people do not prefer them.) If you are an experienced knitter, this book is like a toolbox with various shawl shapes (round, half-circle, square, triangle, oblong) and stitch patterns in a small but useful lace library. You can combine the stitches and shapes and make your own creations. So you won't outgrow this book.
If you like to follow patterns, the Kerry Blue Shawl is just terrific. It is a square shawl with various lace stitches, and is knit from the center outwards, with four diagonal "rays" at the corners. This is actually a very easy shawl but looks like an heirloom. It would work as a baby christening wrap also. The Kerry Blue Shawl is written out row by row, for those who eschew charts.
Because lace knitting doesn't need to "fit" you can use all kinds of yarns of various weights. Find a yarn, test out how the stitch looks, and "guestimate" the yards you will need by comparing the yardage and gauge used in the pattern. If you run low, you can make the shawl a bit smaller.
I have quite a few lace knitting books, but I actually use this one the most. I just love this book!
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87 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Tien Chiu on February 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is a good intro to shawl design. It is not for the "blind follower" knitter, but for the knitter who wants to understand shawl design and maybe make up a pattern or two on his/her own.

I collect lace books and do some design myself, and while I have twenty or thirty books on lace design, this is one I keep coming back to. Most of it is a relatively straightforward beginners' lace shawl book (albeit for fairly experienced knitters), but the chapter on different methods of construction is the best summary I've seen. It covers the different ways to knit a square/round/half-round shawl: rays vs. rounds, knitting shawls in the round vs. back and forth, and so on. It lays out very clearly the effects of different increase patterns, and where to do increases if one wants a square, round, etc. shawl. It is simple but comprehensive, and I haven't seen it anywhere else.

The only other encyclopedic discussion I've seen of methods of increase is in Barbara Walker's Fourth Knitting Treasury, where she talks about octagons, hexagons, and spirals--but not in the context of shawl design.

The remainder of the book is a good introductory lace knitting book (for the advanced beginner or intermediate knitter)--several lace patterns, and a few shawl patterns. These are well charted and appropriate, but nothing spectacular; the real value in the book is the tools it gives you for designing your own.

If you are looking for just "blind following" patterns, get a different book (perhaps A Gathering of Lace?); if you are looking for a really advanced book, Susanna Lewis's Knitted Lace (if you can find a copy) has the best discussion I've seen on designing your own lace patterns.

But if you want a good, clearly written book on how to design your own lace shawl, and some lace patterns to get you started, this is a GREAT place to start.
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99 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Mary A. Morley on May 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
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.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A. Reader on May 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book really does offer something for everyone. There are some shawl patterns, including a few that would be easy for someone new to shawl knitting to make. The shawls aren't too "doilyish." The shawl patterns are written out long-hand, not as charts. It also includes information about wearing shawls, storing them, and mending them.

The majority of the book is actually dedicated to designing shawls, and provides several lace stitch patterns as well as border/finishing patterns. WARNING: If you can't read knitting charts, this part will be of no use to you. There's a nice section on shaping shawls. There's an interesting appendix with a chart listing the number of stitches needed to fit around circular needles. There are some nice pictures of techniques that I think new lace/shawl knitters would find helpful.

I only gave this book 4 stars instead of 5 because none of the pictures are in color, I would have liked to have seen chart & long-hand instructions provided for each shawl & stitch pattern, and a few more shawl patterns. Still, it's a nice book and worth the money.
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