I can now tell you about the work I have been doing for most of the last 9 months. A new book, due out in September 2015, of Shetland shawl projects.
Knitting Shetland lace is easier to do than it looks! Relatively few stitch operations are used, and even the most complex-looking patterns have a rhythm to them.
There is much interest in the history of Shetland lace. The book will include a summary of this, pointing out that ‘economic imperative’ has shaped the tradition, and that the story of the lace is intertwined with the sheep and the Shetland way of life.
The book assumes that the knitter knows the basics of knitting lace (directing beginners to The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting), but specific techniques of fine lace knitting and care will be explained in detail. Thus there will be, for example, a detailed discussion on dressing/blocking fine lace. The different shapes of Shetland shawls will be discussed, and each will be accompanied by an apprentice piece (a mini shawl) for practising the techniques involved. And there will be a section on ways to wear your shawls.
The projects will cover an increasing order of difficulty in 4 ply/fingering, lace weight and cobweb weight yarns. A heirloom set of shawl, dress, petticoat, bonnet and bootees for babies is included. The shawls have suggestions for other uses – for example a scarf worked in cotton makes a table runner.
There will be a section on mistakes and repairs.
Throughout, the book aims to give confidence to the knitter so that they can enjoy the process of knitting airy shawls they will love using.
The book contains 15 projects and 5 apprentice pieces. It will be published by Search Press in the UK and St Martins in the USA.
Over the coming weeks I may be letting you see a few more of the projects…! Here is a bigger section of the petticoat which goes under the heirloom dress.