Elizabeth Lovick Northern Lace

I was taught to knit by my Cornish grandmother when very young and kept myself in clothes through school by knitting arans for friends!  When ill health forced me to stop teaching when I was 40, I did what my forebears would have done – I turned to knitting again.  Now, from the house I share with my elder son, Ben, outside Kirkwall, Orkney, I design, write and knit, specialising in designs bringing the patterns of the Northern Isles to a new audience.

The three great knitting traditions of the Northern Isles form the foundation of my patterns, but I like to use them in modern ways.  These forms of knitting grew out of necessity.  Ganseys kept fishermen warm, shawls kept the women warm.  Later, knitting lace items, then Fair Isle designs, for sale to others, evolved to bring much needed income to Orkney and Shetland families.

Almost all the time, I will have three projects on the go – one gansey, one piece of lace and one Fair Isle – and other ideas sketched out in her head and on paper.  I like to use natural fibres most of the time, ranging from the local North Ronaldsay wool and Jamieson and Smith’s Shetland wools to ColourMart cashmere.  For ganseys, I reckon Frangipani’s 5 ply is the best there is.  I do like nice yarn, but it does need to be right for the job the garment has to do.  And although I love working with natural fibres, give me a good acrylic over a bad wool or cashmere any day!

For relaxation I stay with fibre, spinning and dyeing wool, silk and other exotic fibres.  There is usually an audio book on the player while I knit, and my two Scotties, Eilidh the wheaten and Magnus the brindle, will either be at my feet waiting for the next walk or looking out of the nearby window snoopervising anything happening.


15 thoughts on “About

  1. I just read your posts and I loved seeing the photos of your beautiful Scotland terriers. The first scarf pattern is really nice and I’m thrilled that you were loaned this unexpected historical book. Thank you for sharing and after seeing Mario’s shawl…it tempts me to consider knitting. I’m a fairly new lace knitter so I’m a little nervous about the size of the project. JoanieM (Ravelry)

  2. Thank you! I will tell the Scotties you approve!!

    A pi shawl is a good project for a reletively new lace knitter – you can finish it when ever you like!! Some of the Orkney Pi shawls are fairly small – some the full size. Because you are working from the centre out, you can finish where you like…

    The only tricky bit is the first few rounds, where you have a small number of stitches. That is fiddly rather than difficult. Once you get on to 32 sts or so you will be fine.


  3. Hello Again, I was trying to find a picture of the shawls you are writing about and could not. Mario’s shawl and the Pi shawl. Where could I find these pictures….they sound very nice indeed. Thank You,

  4. Hi, We are a book distributor in the US (Colorado) that sells to shops all over the US. How can we get in touch with the publisher to make arrangements for reselling this booK?
    Thank you.

  5. Hi Liz, Muriel Peter hear the class in May /2010, how I enjoyed the class the sweater is beautiful and know i’m working on DIERDRA shawl Igot of the c.d. for May you sent me and i’m using the cashmere I brought back it seems to be working well. So how are things going on Flotta and Scottie how is he doing, well I hope. Well I’ll close know Muriel Peter May class 2010.

  6. I have just found your site and I love your victorian collar. Do you sell the patterns? I would like to knit this one.

  7. Hi Elizabeth,, have to let you know that am at present knitting your beautiful Cats Paw scarf… So far its easy. and am knitting it with home spun single, plied with a thread of silver.. so quite fine. Found the pattern, from some where, a few years ago, and just finally managed to get a pattern that would suit the wool.

    Looking forward to finishing it, and wearing it.. So thank you for your beautiful pattern.. Love your work..

  8. How have I not heard of your blog before?? Such beautiful pictures! I was woefully ignorant of where Orkney Island was, so I Googled it. Flotta is on a different island? So many islands!

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