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Knits from the North Sea: Lace in the Shetland Tradition Paperback – July 21, 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

The winter months are the perfect time to knit. When I first came across Knits from the North Sea I was transfixed by the ethereal lace work. It is a breathtaking compilation of knitted shawls, stoles and scarves and I couldn't stop looking at it. As an intermediate knitter, the instructions themselves were clear and doable. This book will be in my library for years to come. I highly recommend it. It is the perfect gift for knitters even if they have never tried lace knitting before. --Barnes & Noble, Staff Recommendations

About the Author

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Carol Rasmussen Noble. It was a pleasure to work with her.


Carol Rasmussen Noble was a knitwear designer who wrote knitting books with subjects ranging from Fair Isle mittens to Orenburg shawls.



Margaret Peterson is a lace expert from the Shetland Islands, who is well known for the quality of her lace and designs.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Martingale (July 21, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564778320
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564778321
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,160,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I eagerly awaited the publication of a new book on Shetland Lace knitting in hopes of finding a well-designed, well-written, and well-charted authentic Shetland shawl pattern. It ain't here folks. There are a few nice stole designs, namely Carol's Alice Maud Stole, Carol's High-Country Wrap, and Carol's Alpine Meadow Stole. However, only the Alpine Meadow Stole and Margaret's Cockleshell Scarf speak clearly to the unique lace of the Shetland Isles. Several patterns (Carol's Peaches and Cream Scarf, etc.)reflect the lace of Orenburg, Russia -- not what one expects to find in a book on Shetland lace. All of the patterns are in chart form with written instructions to support the charts. The patterns are not in written format. I have identified several errors in the charts--be sure to check for errata before starting any project.

I strongly discourage new and less-experienced lace knitters from using the patterns in this book for their beginning lace projects. The lead author's (CRN) well-known bias against the use of circular needles and atypical recommendations for needle/yarn match-ups and blocking will leave newbie's incredibly frustrated and poorly guided in the art of lace knitting. Be aware that the CYCA yarn weight numbering system is incorrectly applied to many of the yarns in this book (ie., Jaggerspun Zephyr 2/18 is a #0, not a #2; Matchmaker Merino 4 ply is a #2, not a #3). I suggest comparing yarn to yarn when making substitutions. The recommended needle size for all of the patterns is *much* smaller than is customary in lace knitting. For example, CRN recommends that Doceur et Soie, a fingering wt. kid mohair and silk blend, be knit using US1/2.25mm needles. By way of comparison, Jane Sowerby, author of Victorian Lace Today, recommended a US7/4.
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Format: Paperback
As an experienced knitter who is planning to knit her first lace shawl from this book, I don't understand why there are so many negative reviews (on Amazon and [...]) of Noble and Peterson's slim but lovely collection. Not every one of the 16 patterns was to my taste, but they all look wearable -- and the "Alice Maud Stole" on the cover is really stunning. (The "High Country Wrap" is a close second.) The authors' tips and techniques seem to have come under particular fire, but their instructions for provisional cast-on,"Russian grafting," and blocking, while doubtless idiosyncratic, are clearly written and illustrated; they're good ideas I'm going to try.

As for the nonsense about the Shetland Islands not being on the North Sea (!??) and the supposed absence of anything resembling an "Alpine meadow" there (that being the name of another nice stole pattern) ... these are such laughably untrue charges that they're not even worth answering. Go live on the North Sea for a year, as I have, and you'll see nothing wrong with these beautiful interpretations of the North Sea landscape.
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Format: Paperback
I was so hopeful this would be the Shetland lace version of "Gossamer Webs", which really is a wonderful book. However, this book is such a half-hearted effort, with drippy descriptions and incredibly uninspired and mostly unauthentic designs, that you would be better off saving up for one of the more authoritative books on Shetland lace. Such a disappointment.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I too was disappointed with the lack of true Shetland shawls, but like Readaholic Leigh I thought it was photographed beautifully and the designs were interesting enough, if somewhat repetitive for an experienced knitter (sometimes that's good). I didn't think the needle and gauges were too off as one reviewer suggested- I've knit many shawls in Jaggerspun Zephyr and usually use a smaller needle. I too would disagree with the author about circular needles - I find that shawls are less likely to fall off circular needles, they concentrate the bulk of the knitting into the lap thereby avoiding shoulder strain, and I have NEVER had a problem with slipping work off the needle onto the cable join (and I usually use fingering or lighter weight yarn for shawls and have knit DOZENS of Norwegian sweaters with DK weight)- perhaps the author needs better quality circular needles.

I think the scarves are great and much more interesting than what one usually sees - they would be fairly quick to knit, also.

The charts are fairly good - who wants to knit lace from written out directions?

Beginners, get a mentor to use this book, but go ahead and stretch your horizons!
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Format: Paperback
I waited with "ants in my pants" for my Knits from the Norh Sea. I soon found mistakes in quite a few patterns. Margaret's Spring Breeze Headscarf is beautiful, but Chart A only stops at row 16, thus you must fill in the blanks to row 50. I took the pattern to my friend that lived in Estonia, and she could not decipher what was next. I then showed the pattern to two other knit shops and they could not decide what was next. I called the company and was informed that someone would contact me with technical support. It has only been a day thus far. You must download the corrections from the internet. I am only giving it one star since it would not let me give a half star.
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