Lace knitting. The very phrase evokes clouds of soft finery,
light enough to pass through the proverbial wedding ring.
Our grandmother's grandmother knit lace, in Estonia, Rus-
sia, Ireland, France; we see examples of fine lace knitting
in museums and we gasp at the beauty and at the skill and
patience required to call forth thousands of intricate stitches
on needles no wider than a toothpick.
And yet, look around\u2014lace knitting is not relegated only to
dusty cases in museums, or faded photographs in history
books. Lace knitting is now vibrant, and modern, and more
popular than ever! Today, everything from hats to sweaters
incorporates the beauty of knitted lace; knitting one's first
lace scarf or shawl has become a rite of passage in the knit-
ting community, with thousands of knitters on the internet
ready to mentor the next wave of knitters as they discover
the joy of making holes in their knitting.
In this collection, I've tried to capture the range and versatil-
ity that is lace knitting today\u2014you'll find here everything
from a super-simple scarf with a one-row lace pattern to an
intricate shawl that grew out of Iceland's rich fiber tradi-
tions. There's a simple hat with lace motifs knitted out of
sock yarn; a pair of lacy fingerless gloves, a cardigan designed
around the beloved feather-and-fan pattern; and of course,
two perennial favorites: a popular triangular lace shawl and
an easy rectangular lace scarf.
There are patterns for long-time lace knitters and for a knit- ter looking for his or her very first lace knitting project; there are patterns using fine yarns and chunky; there are quick gift lace knitting projects and projects that, once completed, will be heirlooms for future generations.
PHOTOGRAPHYChris Hartlove(unless otherwise noted)
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Called the Th\u00f3rd\u00eds shawl, the original of this traditional Icelandic shawl is part of the Icelandic Craft Council\u2019s collection of textiles. It is thought to have been knitted by Th\u00f3rd\u00eds Egilsd\u00f3ttir, a resident of a small fishing village on the west coast of Iceland well known for her craftsmanship with handspun yarns. She used very fine
Jaggerspun Maine Line 2/8 (100% wool; 22 40 yd [2048 m]/16 oz [454 g]): natural (white), 3\u00bd oz; graphite (dark gray) and arrowhead (gray- beige), 1 oz each; suede (medium brown) and sable (dark brown), \u00be oz each; pewter (light gray), shale (medium gray), sand (beige), and black, \u00bd oz each. Yarn available in smaller than 1-lb units from Halcyon Yarn (www.halcyonyarn. com) and other suppliers.
Carol\u2019s shawl is knitted in a fingering-weight yarn in natural and several dyed shades. For a more traditional shawl, you may wish to use Icelandic lace-weight yarn spun from Icelandic wool.
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