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Victorian Lace Today Hardcover – November 1, 2006
"Go Big Knits" from the editors of Marie Claire Idees
Knit designs from the editors of Marie Claire Idées to ensure that women of all body shapes and types will look—and feel—fantastic. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
It appears that all the designs are charted, which is my preferred method but those who like written out directions may not be happy. There are several designs knit up in Kidsilk Haze and similar yarns, many done in laceweights like Zephyr and some done in sport/dk weight yarns like Fiesta's La Luz. One of the nice features is a yarn comparison chart in the back of the book, offering advise about substitutions and emphasizing that substituting yarns is nothing to fear. I noticed several of the patterns mention the possibility of using a heavier yarn and doing fewer repeats.
The general tone of the book seems to offer reassurance that lace isn't all that hard without trying to dumb down the whole process. There's a nice section in the back that encourages you to design your own shawl and offers lessons in designing both centers and edgings.
The presentation of the shawls and scarves is both lovely and informative. Images are clear and sharp and the lace is generally spread out in a way that allows you to actually see the design. There is a bit of history offered but not an overwhelming amount. I'd say it's just enough to give you an appreciation of the genesis of the designs and the time and place in which they were orginally created.Read more ›
Most of the patterns are rectangular stoles with all-around knitted-on borders. There are a number of scarves that make use of fancy edging patterns on the ends, with a fairly plain center section for fast knitting. There are a few triangular shawls, and a very dramatic full hexagon and circle.
The photography is gorgeous. Locations are mostly around Cambridge or in the house and formal gardens at Belton House. The scarves and shawls are mostly in bright colors -- think hot pink, chartreuse, coral, scarlet. In addition to the artsy "shawl on a bridge railing" sorts of shots, there are plenty of good close-ups for most of the items, allowing you to see detail.
So what keeps it from a full 5 stars? First, if you're looking for really intricate lace patterns, this is probably not the book for you. Most of the designs are fairly geometric with short (though easily-memorized!) repeats. The thing that irritated me the most is that there's no comprehensive listing of all of the projects. The main table of contents lists the chapters (largely divided by source of patterns) and each chapter has its own table of contents listing the designs. But there's no way to quickly find something if you can't remember where it was from.Read more ›
The presentation of the early abbreviated terms left me grateful for our more simplified approach. I am, however, used to an abbreviated verbal format and find chart methods a little confusing. I'm prone to getting off the track. Sometimes I rewrite them into a verbal format myself. I have to admit rather easily. Despite this, I acknowledge that the chart method is much more representative of the finished work. Not to mention that its economy of space, at least in this instance, left far more room for the incredible photography.
The book is chatty and includes information on some of the venues in which the splendid photography was done (mostly in and around Cambridge, ala the BBC Morse Mysteries) and leaves one with the urge to visit "Merry Olde England!"
The designs are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. The black shawl with the leaf design is especially incredible, but it would take the patience of a saint to complete--which does not in any way describe me. The beginner will be able to start with the more simple patterns at the beginning of the book which also should be more easily completed. The more advanced patterns will most certainly coax the beginner to move forward with their technique, and will give the experienced individual a challenge.
Even just as a "wish book," Victorian Lace Today is a must have!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The shawls are lovely, and this is as much a coffee table book as a pattern book. However, having now made two of the patterns in the book, the yarn amounts listed in the book are... Read morePublished 4 months ago by A. Reader
This is a beautiful book with gorgeous projects to choose from. These patterns are so beautiful. If you like Victorian Lace shawls and wraps. Read morePublished 9 months ago by J. Nichols
I did a review of this book on my blog, video: http://knittwhisperer.blogspot.com/2015/10/book-review-victorian-lace-today-by.htmlPublished 9 months ago by Tammy Burke
This is a gorgeous book with gorgeous patterns. The only reason I would not give it a 5-star rating is because of the complexity of the patterns. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Susan L. Stone
This book is full of 40 beautiful pieces to knit, one more beautiful than the next. When it arrived I was so surprised at just how wonderful this book is. Read morePublished 16 months ago by LWoods
So little time (if only I didn't need to sleep)! This is one of those "coffee table books" you want to leave out and enjoy (although it's not a hard cover). Read morePublished 17 months ago by Susan