Friday, 8 January 2016

Amazing Lace: A Review

Today we're going to look at Amazing Lace: 13 Handpainted Shawls With and Without Beads, written by Sharon Mooney and Cheryl Potter, and published by Cooperative Press.

Entourage. Not a bad little cowl. The stitchwork gives it a nice finished look, and it's quite practical. I'd have gone with different buttons.

Hankie Panky. This is pretty but much less practical than the previous piece. This is intended for tucking in a pocket in such a way that an inch of lacework is left coyly visible, for daintily wiping away a very few manipulative tears during a moment of conflict with one's beloved, for waving fond goodbyes to friends departing on ocean voyages, for strategically dropping in the path of attractive strangers so that common courtesy obligates them to return it to you. In other words, I can't imagine a real use for this one unless it's to practice lace knitting or possibly line a bread basket or candy dish, but perhaps you can. I don't know your life.

Kingfisher. Pretty little shawl that isn't so elaborately lacy that it can't be worn with everyday clothes.

Serengeti Sunset. Nice piece. Its small scale would make it easy to wear. One of the photos on this pattern's Ravelry page shows its maker wearing a charcoal and light gray version over a denim jacket, and it's a good look.

South Seas. A more traditional full-sized shawl. I like the slightly ruffled edges.

Feeling Groovy. I'm not finding this mish-mash of colours and stitches too appealing, and the scarf is so big it would be a little awkward to wear.

Sing Me the Blues. Thanks to this design, I'm adding "what an elegant, beautiful poncho," to the list of phrases I never thought I'd say and yet have. The stitchwork is beautiful, the beading is lovely, and the piece drapes incredibly well.

Grand Finale. This is pretty, but I'm finding the sporty stripes are at odds with the elegant lacework.

Punting on the Thames. Quite attractive. The garter and mesh stitches and the latticed bands of stockinette stitch work well together.

Purlieu. The stitchwork, beadwork, and shaping are fine, but I'm not liking the stripes, which make this design look more than a little Christmas tree skirt-y.

Et Tu. This one is like some afghan your grandmother cobbled together out of odds and ends of yarn for your birthday and that you pretended to like but then gave to your cat.

Cheryl's Shawl. This one's gorgeous. The stitchwork and shaping is exquisite, and the pearls set off the teal yarn.

Entre Nous. This one makes a very skillful, creative use of the entrelac technique, which tends to look bulky. Here the entrelac section of the shawl becomes a fun and feminine ruffle. The colourway hurts my eyes a little, but that's easily changed.


  1. I have to agree with your comment on Feeling Groovy that "the scarf is so big it would be a little awkward to wear." Otherwise, wouldn't they have photographed it on a person, and not draped over a pantry door?
    The Hankie Panky is pretty, but the only use I can come up with is for my grandmother to use on her dresser as a doily.

  2. Not sure that I've commented before, but I love your reviews. But now I am going to be snarky and blame you for making me buy this book :)