I was recently asked by the wonderful Jody at Knotions to review the new Lacestar book by Elizabeth Felgate, many of you on Ravelry will know her designs. I love her Gaugeless range of sweaters and cardigans designed for any yarn weight.
Liz has an amazing eye for both colour and texture and whether you’re an experienced lace knitter or a newbie, you’ll absolutely love this book. Liz is known for her attention to detail and this really shows in the book, there’s a great deal of thought gone into making it easier for the knitter and to ensure any instructions are well explained before you start. There are lots of gorgeous photos and plenty of hints, tips and advice to take you through your lace projects. It’s an absolute bargain at $19.95 (plus VAT if you’re in the EU).
If you’re unfamiliar with Knotions.com, they’re an online publisher of knit and crochet patterns and their website is a virtual treasure trove of goodies including articles and some fabulous tutorials.
About the Lacestar book – a book review
The new Lacestar book is out this week and you can buy it here. (In the interests of transparency, this is an affiliate link and I’ll receive a small percentage from the sale of the book, it won’t affect the price you pay).
Lacestar by Liz Felgate for Knotions.com swatches of lace from the book
The ebook itself has over 70 pages of instructions for knitters of all levels.
how to read charts
the basics of lace knitting
more complex stitches
tips and tricks
There are clever charts and written patterns you can customize to your yarn/gauge and get the size you want. The book is organised into sections, showing the anatomy of lace stitches with clear photos and good written instructions for each pattern shown.
I love the design and layout of the Lacestar book. It’s a joy to read and the photos are fabulous. As always with Knotions.com, the page layouts are clean with plenty of white space. This makes the book easy to read and shows off any photographs, swatches and other details clearly. The book has easy to read fonts and is extremly well formatted.
How does all of this help someone who’s never knitted a lace pattern?
For starters, Liz Felgate clearly explains how lace stitches are formed, shows examples (homework) of patterns you can try with lace every other row and lace every row.
There is a section on using lifelines and I strongly suggest you read this and use them for larger lace projects.
Having ripped out a lace shawl made with laceweight mohair silk, I WISH I had used a lifeline at the time.
The sections on mirroring charts and more complex stitches like nupps were excellent and I certain you’ll find them really useful as you work your way through the book.
The suggestions for fixing mistakes and the magic of blocking will be some of the best tools in your knitting toolbox. I strongly suggest you take time to read them, you’ll learn a great deal.
I’m hoping to swatch one of the lace patterns over the weekend, unfortunately my day job has got in the way of things this last couple of weeks, but that’s all sorted out now. Check back in day or two for a swatch photo 🙂
I love to see Paola’s patterns and photos, she’s such a fun lady and has an amazing sense of style. This particular cowl combines two of my favourite things, modular knitting and mosaic knitting. The colourwork (mosaic) is achieved by using only one colour at a time and slipping some stitches, it’s very easy but has big impact. Modular just means the pieces knitted and joined as you go, working one piece directly from another (no seams).
Unusually for Mary, this cowl is in Aran weight yarn, she’s the Queen of laceweight yarns and has a fabulous selection of shawls, so for her this must have felt like knitting with rope, lol. This is a reversible piece and a very clever construction, it’s also a great one for stash busting as each layer could be a different colour.
I had to include a crochet cowl and this one really caught my eye, all that purple and smooshy stitches. You could have a lot of fun with colour and play with contrast levels too, lots of potential here.
Don’t ask me how to pronounce this, I have no clue, lol. However, as brioche seems to be the new black, then I had to include a brioche cowl in the mix today. The instructions include options for both a long and a short cowl, my personal preference for Winter is the longer, but in Autumn/Fall, I like a shorter cowl, so I guess I’ll have to make both.
I chose this one partly because I love the colours, yes I am a sucker for this olive/mustard combination, but also because it’s a simple knit, worked in the round with plain stocking stitch and some ribbing for interest. It’ll be a good beginner knit and one of those go-to classics you wear every day. Choose a colour to match your winter coat and pair it with a contast colour to add interest. I’m thinking purple and mustard for mine.
Another crochet choice, this would be great to use up those self striping yarns you have no clue what to do with and is quick to work. I love the motif, it’s delicate and pretty without being over the top.
Sometimes you just need a scarf, something relaxing to knit with a simple pattern repeat you can ‘read’ as you knit and that’s easier to remember as you work along. Pretty lace, would work in any weight of yarn, what’s not to love?
Another crochet beauty, couldn’t resist the colour or the beautiful shawl pin in the photo. The designer suggest it’s good to have some experience of cluster sts, but the rest is pretty basic and there are a ton of youtube tutorials available to show you how to work cluster stitches. Give it a go.
I love this cowl by knitting superstar Annie Modesitt, it’s a great way to use that mini-skein set you bought because you love the colours but have no idea what to make with it. Clever use of short rows and slipped stitches make for very simple colour work with a WOW factor.
I couldn’t resist adding this stranded cowl pattern, great for using stash and odd skeins your bought because they were pretty, or soft, or just there. Super warm, worked in the round then joined to make a loop, as long or short ass you like.
This is great for using those odd skeins of Malabrigo Rios (other yarns available) that you can’t figure out what you’re going to make. I have a couple of skeins of Rios in Archangel lined up for this beauty.
That’s it for today, tomorrow is a Sock Spectacular! See you then.
The Gorgeous Last Minute Magic Cowl by Tanja Luescher
My lovely friend, Tanja Luescher, released a fabulous pattern today. It’s for the Last Minute Magic Cowl, is made using bulky/chunky yarn and 5mm needles. It’s a super quick knit for those of you making Christmas or Holiday Gifts. Tanja used some Eco-alpaca but this would be lovely in any chunky/bulky yarn and will fly off your needles.
Last Minute Magic Cowl by Tanja Luescher
With the coupon code Magic, the Last Minute Magic Cowl by Tanja Luescher pattern is 75 % off for 7 users, 50 % off for 10 users, then 25 % off for everyone until November 4th, end of day
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