Victorian Lace Today BC102

by Jane Sowerby

Hardcover, 2006

Status

Available

Barcode

102

Description

Part project book and part history lesson, this unmatched collection of lace patterns offers techniques for embellishment and edging to shawls and scarves. The 40 projects are deciphered, rewritten, charted, and adapted for modern tools and fibers, and are presented with full-color photos and illustrations of both the works-in-progress and the finished items. Comprehensive information on the tools and techniques of lace knitting helps beginning knitters, and challenging patterns keep experienced and ambitious knitters engaged. Delicate and decorative, the historical lace patterns in this book are adventurous and dynamic.

Publication

XRX Books (2006), Edition: 1st, 192 pages

Similar in this library

ISBN

1933064072 / 9781933064079

Other editions

User reviews

LibraryThing member librarianj
Fabulous, beautiful, I bought it but knitting from it may be a challenge!
LibraryThing member ipsographic
I really, really like this book. It was a Christmas present from my mom (signed, no less!) and I was so anxious to get knitting that I unraveled an old scarf in order to get the yarn to start on one of these projects immediately. The name Victorian Lace may conjure up images of shawl-clad extras in
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A Christmas Carol, but actually the shawls, scarves, and other garments in this book are classic, stylish, and wearable. Although I didn't think I was much of a shawl person, I think I may have to find an excuse to wear one of these floaty wraps or a light scarves on a cool evening this spring.

This much more than a knitting pattern book -- Victorian Lace Today is the product of Jane Sowerby's intensive research on Victorian needlecraft. I found it to be a very readable history of the craft. Sowerby traces the development of lace motifs from the 1840s to the turn of the century, demonstrating how designers elaborated on each other's motifs (and sometimes even plagiarized each other). The designs become more and more complex, following the fashion trends, until the end of the period in 1901. In addition, the book is a visual treat. The projects are all photographed against a backdrop of Victorian landmarks, gardens, and architectural ornament. These images place Victorian needlework motifs firmly into the context of the visual and decorative vocabulary of the era.

But anyway. Back to the practical information knitters will want to know. Working from knitting and crochet manuals published during the period, Sowerby translates nineteenth-century instructions into well-designed patterns and charts. The patterns are graded from beginner lace to advanced lace, and how-to information and techniques are illustrated in the final chapter of the book. There's also advice about yarn substitutions, since many of the samples photographed in the book were made with unique hand-dyed or hand-spun yarns. This is definitely not a book for the absolute beginner, but don't despair if you're an aspiring lace knitter. There are a sprinkling of easy projects to start you off, and most of the projects in the book are graded intermediate. Sowerby's instructions are clear enough that you could soon progress to more challenging projects with a bit of patience and support.

As I said, I really like this book, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in lace knitting or textile history.
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LibraryThing member seitherin
Not only is this a book full of wonderful lace knit patterns, but it is filled with beautiful photos as well. It makes a great coffee table book for display.
LibraryThing member Antheras
My first glimpse of the designs in Victorian Lace Today was at Stitches East in November 2006. One of the highlights of the convention was the fashion show featuring the incredible shawls from the book along with Jane Sowerby’s commentary on the development of lace knitting during the Victorian
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era. As the models showed off the gossamer-thin shawls and scarves of mohair, wool and silk, I grew more and more convinced that these elaborate designs were something I would never be able to accomplish.

Months passed and these gorgeous shawls kept popping into my mind until I finally had to pick up a copy of Sowerby’s book. Much more than just a book of patterns, Victorian Lace Today “explores the development of lace knitting in England through the work of a few pioneering ladies.” Tracing the development from the simple patterns from the books of Miss Watts and Mrs. Gaugain, the patterns quickly become more elaborate and detailed, as styles and dress shapes changed throughout the Victorian period. Sowerby transforms the sketchy instructions found in these early knitting books into charts and patterns which can be enjoyed by modern knitters. The final twenty pages are devoted to tips and techniques.

Sowerby’s introduction indicates that knitters new to lace should begin by reviewing her section on understanding lace and charts and then undertake one of the projects recommended as a first lace project. As she explains, she “began this book as a knit/purl sweater knitter, with some trepidation, a lot of curiosity, and a determination to succeed…So please, don’t hesitate to begin at the beginning, just as the Victorians did, and welcome to a wonderful knitting adventure.”

And so filled with trepidation, I will embark on my own lace adventure. I’ve already chosen the yarn, now I have to determine which of the stunning scarves it wishes to become - perhaps one of the wide-bordered scarves which are “of particularly pleasing appearance, being light and lacy, and yet not difficult of accomplishment.”
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LibraryThing member TheLibraryhag
This has some jaw-dropping designs. It also has some easy to do patterns that most knitters can do. It is a beautiful book as well. You should check it out from the library first.
LibraryThing member MarlaF
Beautiful coffee-table sized book. Have not knit anything from this book yet.
LibraryThing member 391
This book is a brilliant resource to knitters. The information section at the back is extremely thorough, and every step of making the patterns in the book is lovingly described in terms simple enough for even the beginner to lace. There is also information on how to create your own shawls, modify
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existing ones, and basically do anything you wish to make every knitted piece truly your own. A+++ book.
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LibraryThing member ReadingKnitter01
have to really own this one to take full advantage of the patterns
LibraryThing member westendgirl
This beautiful book made me want to knit everything in it. Very well laid out and great photography
LibraryThing member MarthaJeanne
I'm not really in the market for a lace knitting project right now, but when I am I'll borrow this again. Lovely patterns.
LibraryThing member RochesterKnittingGui
Part project book and part history lesson, this unmatched collection of lace patterns offers techniques for embellishment and edging to shawls and scarves. The 40 projects are deciphered, rewritten, charted, and adapted for modern tools and fibers, and are presented with full-color photos and
Show More
illustrations of both the works-in-progress and the finished items. Comprehensive information on the tools and techniques of lace knitting helps beginning knitters, and challenging patterns keep experienced and ambitious knitters engaged. Delicate and decorative, the historical lace patterns in this book are adventurous and dynamic.
Show Less

Original language

English

Original publication date

2006

Collection

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