UPDATE 5.16: Congratulations to book winner Rita! -------------------------------------------------
I often describe lace knitting to non-lace knitters as "there's lace knitting, then there's everything else." I find that more than any other type of knitting, knitting lace is like opening the flood gates of technique, complexity and a certain elegance that can only be achieved through hand knit lace. Like any other knitting technique, we can knit something very basic, an amuse bouche of sorts for knitting, then we can take it a step further, then another step further, and before you know it, you're knitting hardcore lace with ease. When I'm looking for a challenging knit (and let's face it, it's pretty rare that I get to knit something for myself), I look towards lace.
I really like the idea behind this collection of 18 patterns - all vintage doily-inspired lace motifs from the past repurposed, modernized and turned into something wearable like a shawl, hat, scarf or wrap. Yes, doilies have their place and the motifs from vintage patterns are often stunning, but you can't wear a doily (I suppose you could, but that's a post for another day).
The first section has a few pages devoted to using different fibers and the benefits, as well as the typical amount of yardage used (helpful if you're not good at guessing and have a limited amount of yarn on hand), techniques and something I found interesting - different types of beads. I love putting beads in a special project (usually a shawl), but not being a beader aside from when they make an occasional appearance in my lace knitting, I don't know much about them. There are some lovely illustrated tutorials throughout the book and a great section devoted to the importance of swatching. Yes, I know. Everyone hates swatching, but wouldn't you rather spend a few hours doing so rather than frogging an entire project because you hated how the yarn looked?
There have been many books devoted to vintage lace and scads of patterns on Ravelry that have their roots in vintage doilies (Hemlock Ring, anyone?) but this book has an elegance and cleanness to it that I appreciate. Lace can be complicated, the charts overwhelming if you're not used to them and this book does a nice job of giving those charts breathing room and showing you multiple angles of the finished projects.
If you're a lace shawl knitter like me, I'd say this is a book worth adding to your collection. I want to knit about half the things in this book and next chance I get, I'll be knitting Blue Dahlia for myself!
That being said, let's do a giveaway for one lucky reader, shall we? If you're a regular reader, you know how much I love a good giveaway, so let's get this party started (this is a particularly nice giveaway, because you'll be getting this book before it's even out)!
Please leave a comment with the answer to this trivia question (US residents only, please): How many yards of yarn would you need to get from the Earth to the moon? Winner will be chosen at random on Friday, May 16th and will be contacted by email.