Lace Style: Traditional to Innovative, 21 Inspired Designs to Knit is a great guide to a form of knitting that a lot of us are pretty obsessed with: lace knitting. The book illustrates many different ways to get a lacy look, from dropping stitches and using a large needle with a fine yarn to intricate lace patterns, with 21 patterns to suit a range of skill and comfort levels.
The book also has plenty of tips on how to add lace to knitting patterns or design your own knits incorporating lace stitches.
Lace Style offers a pretty wide range of patterns, from the pretty Feather and Fan jacket featured on the book's cover to simple shrugs, delicate shawls, tops, skirts and more. All of the patterns are for women, and some of them are intricate enough to be considered as for experienced knitters only, though others are fine as a first or second lace knitting project.
Those projects that require fit mostly offer a range of four or five sizes, ensuring a good fit for a range of knitters. There are plenty of projects -- armwarmers, cuffs, a hat, socks, wraps -- that don't require a perfect fit as well.
There are many, many lovely projects in this book, so it's difficult to name favorites. Nancy Bush's Lily of the Valley Shawl uses her favorite Estonian knitting techniques to produce a lovely, fancy looking shawl. The Featherlight Lingerie Dress by Mari Lynn Patrick uses Kidsilk Haze to make a lovely slip with a handkerchief hem, while Pam Allen's Little Silk Shrug is a small, relatively easy project knitters are sure to wear throughout the spring and summer.
The Long Lacy Gloves by Lois S. Young are fun and feminine but not too difficult to knit, and the clever Peek-a-boo Cloche from Mona Schmidt is a lace hat lined with a hat knit in Stockinette Stitch in a contrasting color, so you get the beauty of lace but still have a warm, functional hat.
And Norah Gaughan's Lacy Waves Top is a beauty, featuring a relatively plain body with lace arms and a cool wavy lace insert at the neckline.
Learning About Lace
The Designer's Notebook section of Lace Style provides invaluable detailed information on how lace is worked, the ways different decreases and where they are placed change the look of lace, how to read charts and how to add lace to your own knitting designs.
Plenty of illustrations and knit swatches beautifully illuminate the points of the text, making even those who haven't knit a lot of lace feel more comfortable with the concepts and skills involved.
As this section mentions, lace knitting is nothing more than the strategic placing of holes (and corresponding decreases) in your knitting; there's nothing at all to be scared of!
Lace Style is a great guide to the genre of lace knitting for anyone who is interested in delving deeper in the process. It's not as in-depth as a book completely dedicated to a certain kind of lace would be, but it shows off the possibilities of lace knitting well and is sure to inspire knitters not only to work the projects shown in the book but also to create their own lacy objects with the help of this book's good advice.
Publication date: April 2007