Customer Reviews: The Mermaid Shawl & Other Beauties: Shawls, Cocoons & Wraps
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What a beautiful book. The author goes into great detail about how to knit the Mermaid shawl. The photographs and instructions are very clear. If you've never knit a complicated lace shawl, this book will help. It is definitely for the experienced knitter. I have three criteria for buying a knitting book.

1) Are there patterns in the book that I want to knit

2) Are the patterns easy to read.

3) Can I use the book as a resource.

The answer to all three questions is 'yes' . Even though there is primarily only one pattern, there is a bonus section with other wraps and shawls to knit. The photographs are not only beautiful, but clear. The lace techniques challenge me to improve my skills and to create more beautiful knitted pieces. I highly recommend this book. When you're not knitting, you'll be looking at this book over and over again for inspiration.
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on April 28, 2009
Disclaimer: I am not an expert knitter. Even so, the first night I had this book, I was compelled to put a new project on the needles, despite already having way too many works in progress.

Kathleen Valentine's approach in this book is NOT to supply rigid patterns for shawl making. Instead, she describes her approach to lace knitting and supplies advice, examples, and charts to enable the knitter to design her own shawls. For a knitter who might be afraid to strike out on her own immediately, the instructions are clear and detailed enough to follow to make one of Kathleen's shawls. I can see this book becoming one of my favorite references. There are diagrams included that I can also use to design crocheted shawls.

I also appreciate that the models who were photographed around Cape Ann, Massachusetts, are lovely women of various ages.
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on January 22, 2010
Loved the concept and her shawl photography is just beautiful. I like her idea that shawls don't have to be done in fine yarn on tiny needles. And the Cocoons - to die for. She presents interesting techniques and tells you how to do them with the way you work. She has charts for her lace (I LOVE charts) and this book seems to progress in an organized manner from start to finish. She tells you how to convert you mistakes into successes as well. And what a great idea!!
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on October 8, 2009
I like knitting books that provide the specifics on the yarns used for a book's photographs--even if they are discontinued yarns. I like knitting books that povide a pattern with an accurate amount of yarn needed to make it--not "unraveled from an over-sized designer sweater I bought". I like knitting books that, when they show a sample design--provide the pattern and not instruct the reader that the lace pattern is available in a lot of other lace books. Yes it does provide a guide to creating your own lace shawls and stoles. Call me strange, but I really like specifics and this book leaves gaping holes in the printed word. I received this book from today and had to write a review because it is a newly published book.

If you want to make beautiful shawls and stoles, with comprehensive instructions--buy Jackie Erickson-Scheitzer's patterns. They are truly divine and you'll get rave reviews on the finished garment.
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on May 23, 2009
This book is incredible! A lovely story, and GORGEOUS lace shawl patterns that I can't wait to knit! My only complaint is that I wish it gave yardages for all projects, so I could make better judgements about which of my stash to knit with!
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on April 7, 2010
Like the other reviewers, I would find yardages useful. There's nothing worse than running out of yarn before one is done. However, the book is inspiring and is great for discussing how to design one's own lace shawl patterns. I do find her ribbed edges annoying - I far prefer garter stitch edges, as they're faster and less obtrusice.

Not for the beginner who wants a shawl "recipe."
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on April 19, 2014
Little information on how much yarn is needed. Instructions, for example the gypsy shawl, are barely there and knitter must fill in the blanks. Not a book for a beginner or a knitter that appreciates and wants clear direction. Some nice designs if the knitter can or already knows how to knit them. Also, uses it as a platform to tell stories that waste print space. Wanted a knitting book, NOT a lot of tales that am not interested in.
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on August 2, 2013
Were looking for knitting patterns, not story and the kindle edition at least look to be very badly edited. This detract from the patterns that might be good looking, but probably going to be very difficult to follow.
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on May 22, 2011
I love shawls--I'm wearing one right now--and I always seem to be working on one. But the shawl of my dreams has eluded me so far.

I'm pretty sure it's in this book.

Well-produced with a wealth of photos and diagrams, "The Mermaid Shawl" has clear instructions for not just the patterns in the book but how to develop your own. Kathleen's knitting process isn't exactly the same as mine, but it's understandable, it's illustrative, and I share her joy in the discovery of materials and techniques that work for individual knitters.

Don't be fooled by the title. There are way more patterns here than just the Mermaid Shawl, as beautiful as that one is. I cannot WAIT to cast on.
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on August 4, 2012
This is a great book for experienced knitters who want to explore with their own designs. I bought the kindle version and I am terribly disappointed with all the typing errors, the bad formatting, missing beginnings and endings of some sentences and the symbols were not showing in the diagram key.
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