Victorian Lace Today

ISBN: 1933064072
ISBN 13: 9781933064079
By: Jane Sowerby Alexis Xenakis

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Craft Crafts Fiber Arts Knitting Knitting Books Lace Non Fiction Nonfiction Reference To Read

About this book

Within this compendium, the very first knitting books have been translated from sketchy, often-inaccurate instructions into richly-colored, exciting patterns for modern-day accessories. This blend of history, mystery, and hands-on technique debunks myths about Victorian life as it inspires beginners and ambitious knitters alike. Included are instructions for Victorian lace as the Victorians never saw it—in glorious detail, up-close and on location in and around Cambridge, England. The lace patterns progress from the first, most basic, edgings to the sophistication of "real" lace. Forty patterns are included—scarves and shawls, capes, and fichus—with comprehensive information on the tools and techniques of lace knitting for beginners and enough challenges to keep experienced or ambitious knitters engaged. Delicate and decorative, historical lace patterns are within the reach of today's knitters in this book of adventurous ideas with a vintage touch. 

Reader's Thoughts




The patterns are lovely, the photographs are incredible and the historical details are fascinating!


I took it back to the library today. Very sad, but somebody else was waiting for it. Sigh.


One of the few knitting books I own and one of two to travel to Japan with me. Also the one book I've knit the most projects from. This book is amazing and beautiful; it lives on the "show" bookshelf full of yarn and whiskey for people to peruse instead of on the coffee table, but it is our coffee table book.

Linda B

Maybe when I am 90 I will have this kind of patience.


I've dipped in and out of this book mainly for the patterns. Still trying to decide whether to buy it and break my rule of not adding to my shelves. I decided a while ago that I'm only buying from charity shops and then handing them back to re-sell or using the public library. Use it or lose it. We can't lose our libraries!I might have to buy this as there are lots of lovely patterns but I don't find them easy to follow. I eventually realised that it is actually an American book even though all the photos are of England, confusing! That's probably why I'm having a bit of bother. Must try harder!


I am still (since christmas) working on an awesome lace scarf from this book. The historical sections describing the evolution of lace and the hand written pattern is awesome. The patterns are classic with clear charts.


The photos alone make me swoon. Beautiful. Wide range of patterns available, from simple to complex. approch is that knitting lace can be done by anyone.

Kelly Schooler

Love this lace tutorial....wonderful old patterns translated into modern language for today's knitters


Too many errors.


Wow is this an excellent lace book. If you are adventurous enough to take on lacing then this is THE book for you. Great patterns a little bit of history and loads of pictures in color.


This book is a brilliant resource to knitters. The information section at the back is extremely thorough, and every step of making the patterns in the book is lovingly described in terms simple enough for beginners to lacemaking. There is also information on how to create your own shawls, modify existing ones, and basically do anything you wish to make every knitted piece truly your own. A+++ book.


This is a stunning book with gorgeous photography and really lovely patterns. Jane Sowerby managed to decipher Victorian lace pattern, which would have been a nightmare for most of us and each project is beautiful. On my wish list now is to buy a copy of this book and lots of lace yarn.

Laura Jean

This book is absolutely fabulous! There are tons of projects, and marvelous descriptions for everything. Several of the items are made with one of my favorite yarns, Rowan Kidsilk Haze. The final chapter of the book has photos of all the yarns used in the projects. There are also suggestions for yarn substitutions.I can hardly wait to start something from here.


An interesting look at lace knitting in 19th century London with patterns updated and translated into modern US lingo.A lovely collection of shawls and scarves beautifully photographed.I will be knitting more from this book.

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