Pattern Books – A Gathering of Lace

A Gathering of Lace – Gathered by Meg Swansen – edited by Elaine Rowley – Photograpy by Alexis Xenakis – XRX books – 2000.

An amazing collection of lace patterns, from the smallest items to the largest shawls, this book astounds and inspires every knitter who has seen it.  From wedding gloves and lace cuffed socks, doll attire and lace detailed pillows, to sweaters and vests, and most emphatically shawls of every description – this book has something for every interest!  The designers represented in this book are the best in the knitting world at what they do.  Amy Detjen opens the patterns with a beginning knitters lace triangle and the book is finished with a gallery of exotic knit lace, including a lace coracle (round boat) by Deborah New and the stunning Rose is a Rose Shawl, knit by Sheryl Hill and designed by Robert Powell.  Biographies of the artists are included.

In between you will find patterns for shawls by Meg Swansen, Eugen Beugler (including my favorite – Frost Flowers and Leaves), Bridget Rorem, Hazel Carter and Robert Powell.  The garments section includes designs by Cheryl Oberle, Elizabeth Zimmerman, Sally Melville and Norah Gaughan.  The garments are knit from the finest of laceweight yarns to heavy wools and each is unique and timeless.  The “Little Laces” section includes designs from Nancy Bush, Emily Ocker, and Susanna Lewis.  The patterns range from gloves to bags, and from Tams to doll clothes.  The cotton lace Picture Hat by Katherine Misegades is an incredible classic.

The last part of the book has line illustrations on how to knit any of the techniques used in the book, followed by biographies of the designers.

My "Beaded Pi" - inspired by the Shetland Tea Shawl, designed by Dale Long. Dale was inspired by Elizabeth Zimmermann's Pi shawl.

I love this book.  I take it out and read the many little quotes scattered throughout its pages, examine the projects and dreamt of time to knit them all.  To date:  I have knit none.  I have designed my own shawls with inspiration directly from these pages, but never found quite the right yarn to recreate my favorites.  I have helped others knit at least half of the patterns in the book, some patterns more than once.  This book has been and will continue to be a must have in any lace knitters library.  I hope that you will enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine.

When this book was first published it was plagued by mistakes and errors.  If you have one the the later editions most of the mistakes have been corrected.  If you have the original hardcover make sure that you check on-line for the errata.

Happy Knitting


1 Response to Pattern Books – A Gathering of Lace

  1. Pingback: Ten Books | Le Tissier Designs

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