Review of More Lovely Knitted Lace

Review of More Lovely Knitted Lace
Brooke Nico is prolific, no doubt about that. Over the past five years, she has authored three pattern collections for lace knitting, each one lavishly photographed. Whether exploring traditional patterns or modern variations, her art celebrates the yarn over in a variety of yarn weights. In More Lovely Knitted Lace, her second collection, Nico focuses on the combination of simple geometric shapes ? circles, triangles, squares, and rectangles ? with lace patterning. The relative lack of shaping maneuvers allows the pattern stitches to shine.

As the front cover advertises, the 16 projects in this tome are indeed stunning. Their relative simplicity makes them easy to wear; the five sweater patterns all would look amazing paired with either denim for a casual outing. The eleven remaining accessories could be dressed up or down, depending on the rest of the outfit. Any of these patterns will make a treasured, heirloom garment that will easily weather the tides of fashion.

With that said, it?s important to stress that this is not a book for beginners. There are three patterns rated as ?easy,? but one of these, the Uno cowl, requires yarn-overs on every row. Although the stitch pattern is a single line of instructions repeated until the project is finished, it nonetheless would be extremely difficult to pick back if a mistake is noticed several rows in. Nico doesn?t mention the use of lifelines, but with this kind of project using one could save hours of frustration and the possible ruin of expensive yarn.

The other ?easy? project, the Arbor Triangle Shawl, has ?rest? rows that purl across the body, but border stitches that are knit every row. While this is a small detail for an experienced knitter, it?s again something that can trip up a newbie. It?s also a fairly large project. The Aria Gauntlets, on the other hand, also has ?rest? rows, but uses lace in a manageable size for someone new to the technique. The lace stitches are worked on a small rectangle that is then sewed up into a fingerless, thumb less, mitt. Nico points out that any of the patterns in the book can be used to make this kind of gauntlet mitten, and indeed this is a brilliant idea. One will want to make extensive gauge swatches to learn the patterns, and creating gauntlets is an inspired way of making that step feel more like a project of its own.

The balance of patterns here are divided between ?intermediate? and ?experienced? ratings, and would benefit from a slow read of the instructions in addition to time spent perusing the accompanying charts (and bravo for charting out almost every single pattern in the book). Did I mention gauge swatch a moment ago? While many of these create accessories that do not require strictly matching gauge, one will want to practice the various stitch patterns to avoid later frustration.

Of the intermediate patterns, the Montauk sweater is a personal favorite, as it combines areas of stockinette with lace insertions that follow the raglan lines of this top-down garment. The Troika wrap similarly combines plain knitting with lace, creating a piece that emphasizes the long edges of the rectangle. The Peony tam takes the idea of the knitted counterpane and transfer that kind of pattern to a very wearable hat; the ?belly button? cast on is another inspired idea that makes doable the idea of a hat knitted from the top down.

The two experienced patterns present challenges to the brave of heart, but a knowledgeable knitter will be more than up to the task. The Wanderlust Shawl is relatively straightforward, but patterning on every row and changing stitch counts make it more difficult. The Amaryllis Entrelac Shawl is perhaps the showpiece of the entire collection; those who have the guts to knit it will then want to wear it at every conceivable opportunity.

Those who like lace knitting will swoon over the photographs, and will definitely find more than one tempting pattern in this collection. Experience knitting lace is definitely helpful, as are the use of stitch markers, the aforementioned life lifelines, and a hefty dose of patience. The reward? Bragging rights, hours of concentrated lace knitting, and amazing finished garments.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the author or publisher. I received my copy as a gift from personal friends.

Nico, Brooke. More Lovely Knitted Lace: Contemporary Patterns in Geometric Shapes. Lark Books, Sterling Publishing, New York City, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-4547-0918-3

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