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Lovely Knitted Lace by Brooke Nico

Lovely Knitted Lace by Brooke Nico

Good morning … 0500 and 28 degrees! Not bad … except that the high for today is only supposed to be around 34. It is supposed to be a crisp and clear day – my favorite kind of winter day!

Today, I wanted to share with you a book I just rec’d in the mail … a newly published book that far exceeded my expectations. Lovely Knitted Lace: a geometric approach to gorgeous wearables “delivers the goods”. Using four basic shapes — triangle, rectangle, circle, square — Brooke Nico designs 16 beautiful projects which go beyond the knitted shawl (altho she does have a couple of classic shawls in here).

Each “shape” has four designs — from the basic to the artistic — so that you can slowly develop your lace-knitting skills. The lace patterns are charted (and she gives a great explanation of how to work charts) butshe includes row-by-row directions, too. Most of her designs are knit flat — many starting with a tab that flows into a stockinette edging. This surprised me as I’d always seen garter-stitch used for shawl tabs; yet, the stockinette edging allows for a slightly rolled edge that looks quite sophisticated; an idea that will simmer in the back of my mind for my next design or so.

BTW, if you like working nupps … you’ll really love these designs. She uses them alot in her stitch patterns; but in the intro to the book, she suggests other ways of working the nupps (incl doing double-yos and dropping them to allow for larger sts to gather up) and even says “don’t use ’em if you don’t want ’em” … she’s very freeing in her directions!

Starting with the simple, almost plebian triangle, Nico takes the reader on a knitting lace adventure. Determined to take these shapes beyond the classic, she creates designs that would suit many shapes:

Floral Tunic made from simple triangles

Floral Tunic made from simple triangles


Starry Night bolero from a simple rectangle

Starry Night bolero from a simple rectangle


Camelia Dolman based on the circle

Camelia Dolman based on the circle


Birch Jacket created from a square

Birch Jacket created from a square

Pretty cool, huh? There are other variations within this collection, but these were the most unique and uniquely constructed.

Now, since no book is perfect (except the one I have in MY head), I wish Nico had included more schematics of how these funky designs are created. In particular, the Starry Nights bolero has a kind of funky fold behind the head that makes me curious how you could avoid that … or maximize it into a looser collar or something. And an ironic thing in her circle section shows circles done flat — which I thought was a tad odd … but the lace stitches are so appropriate … and the yarns so perfect … that it all works.

Overall, Lovely Knitted Lace: a geometric approach to gorgeous wearables is a great book to keep on your reference shelf — beautiful (and unique) designs to work up as well as inspiration to go beyond and create your own modifications. In the final chapter of the book, she charts a handful of lace motifs that could replace the ones in the bulk of the text — a really nice touch.

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