Lacy Little Knits Review
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I’ve never been much of a girly-girl, but, when it comes to knitting, I’ve always been drawn to lace. I love the feel of the super-thin yarn. I love the creative process—the YOs and SSKs and the K2TOGs. It’s like a paint-by-number—if you just follow the pattern, you’ll end up with something beautiful. I love watching that pattern appear, and I love admiring the finished product—and that’s why I have no problem with taking months of my time to create a delicate lace shawl that I’ll probably only wear on special occasions.

In her new book, Lacy Little Knits: Clingy, Soft, and a Little Risqué, though, Iris Schreier of Artyarns makes lace more everyday. She provides tips and techniques for creating simple lace patterns that—when combined with her luscious line of yarns—create beautiful, lacy designs in a lot less time.

To open the book, Schreier offers a few lessons in lacy basics. She teaches readers how to “read lace”—to free them from intricate patterns and confusing charts. And she offers exercises to help readers practice their new techniques. Then, throughout the rest of the book, she provides a number of patterns for lacy wraps, tops, skirts, and more for knitters of all levels of expertise—and not one of them requires a charted stitch pattern. Sound too good to be true? Well, that’s because it is.

The catch is that the designs in Lacy Little Knits feature only the most basic of lace (and “faux lace”) stitches—often drop-stitch patterns or simple openwork. So if you’re looking for intricate lace designs, this book isn’t for you. If you’d just like to create lace-like designs without the headaches, though, Schreier does offer some beautiful designs. Some patterns alternate two very different yarns—combining silks with superfine mohair—to create the appearance of floating stitches. And, for many of the designs, Schreier combines “faux lace” patterns with modular knitting for unique designs made from unexpected shapes.

A number of the designs in Lacy Little Knits are absolutely gorgeous—but I fear that, in many cases, the yarn makes a big difference. I’ve always loved Artyarns, but if you try to substitute yarns due to availability—or to reign in your budget (a quick check online shows that knitting the sweater on the cover, to fit someone with a 32” bust, would cost you about $120)—the finished product might not have the same striking effect. In the beginning of the book, Schreier even warns about using extreme caution when substituting yarns.

Though Schreier’s designs are definitely creative—and they’re wonderful to look at—there just aren’t that many that I can see myself both wearing and knitting. In fact, my favorite styles in the book—the ones that I can actually imagine knitting—are mostly the “bonus projects,” which are available online, through the Artyarns site.

Lacy Little Knits offers some pretty designs with frilly edgings and feminine lines, but it’s just not what you might expect from the book’s title. Some of the designs may be “lacy” (meaning “lace-like”), but very few of them are really lace. So if you’re looking for a book full of lace patterns, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

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