Lace Is Not a Four-Letter Word

comments (0) July 10th, 2008     

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Tina_Hilton Tina Hilton, contributor
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Lace crochet is delicate and beautiful. Once you get the hang of it, you wont be able to stop!
Lace Style, a gorgeous book on lace knitting by Pam Allen and Ann Budd, can be purchased on Amazon.
Victorian Lace, another informative and beautifully photographed text on lace knitting by Jane Sowerby, can also be purchased on Amazon.
Lace crochet is delicate and beautiful. Once you get the hang of it, you wont be able to stop!

Lace crochet is delicate and beautiful. Once you get the hang of it, you won't be able to stop!

Windswept Unst Island in northernmost Scotland, the Eastern Russian river town of Orenburg, northern Baltic Estonia, and the North Atlantic island nation of Iceland each developed an astonishing tradition of lace renowned for its delicacy and variety of intricate patterns. Until recently, only serious knitters with scads of experience would venture into this lofty endeavor.

Over the past few years, lace knitting has enjoyed a surge in popularity. Often regarded as the most difficult of knitting techniques, numerous enticing patterns, books, and articles are now available that dispel the mysteries of this magical craft. Knitting lace is not inherently difficult since it is simply incorporating a combination of simple increases and decreases to create the lace pattern. The tricky part is keeping track of where you are in the pattern. This is not a multitasking activity to be enjoyed while watching TV; you will need to keep your eyes on the pattern! Working with very delicate lace-weight yarns takes a while to get used to, but once you are accustomed to the small needles and thin yarn you will be hooked!

The renaissance of knitting has generated a community of lace designers who are translating the lace patterns from the past with new yarns, techniques, and tools. Volumes of lace knitting books have hit bookstore shelves recently, including the following titles:

Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby and Alexis Xenakis
Lace Style: Traditional to Innovative, 21 Inspired Designs to Knit by Pam Allen and Ann Budd
A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swansen

Yippee, another excuse to enhance my yarn stash. Lace-weight yarn is a category that I am sadly short on. Luckily, there is no shortage of fine yarn purveyors who produce a wide variety of yummy, yummy yarns to weave our gossamer webs!

Lace knitting supplies:

Baby merino to die for
Hand-dyed heaven
Baby alpaca luxury

More lace knitting resources:

Freshman intro to lace 101

EZ-does-it lace—simple lace with large needles

Great step-by-step photos and free lace patterns

Helpful tips from an expert

Supplies for the hard-core lace knitter

Professional-grade lace knitting equipment

Go ahead and try your hand at a simple lace pattern. I promise you it is addictive one you get the hang of it. Check out your LYS for classes and lace groups in your area. Online lace groups abound as well, so you will never lace alone!

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