Book Review

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Knitting Lace Triangles
by Evelyn A. Clark

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If anyone knows her lace triangles, it's Evelyn A. Clark. Her Flower Basket, Shoalwater, and Leaf Lace shawls (all distributed by Fiber Trends) are among the most popular patterns ever designed, and certainly among my favorites.

Knitting Evelyn's patterns is a joy. She anticipates and clarifies every question you could have, and before you even think to have it. There are no errors, at least not that I've ever found.

Evelyn's patterns are often so flexibly designed that you can use almost any yarn and knit the shawl at almost any size, meaning that you could get a lifetime of different shawls out of one simple pattern leaflet. And you will, because by the time you've finished your first shawl, you'll likely be hooked and eager to try more.

Great Expectations
Needless to say, when I heard that Evelyn had written a whole booklet on the subject of triangular lace shawls, I immediately ordered a copy. I've long hoped to gain insight into how Evelyn "does her thing," in the hopes of feeling more comfortable designing these types of shawls myself—and this book did not let me down.

What's Inside
The simple black-and-white, spiral-bound booklet has a heavy dustjacket that protects the spiral binding and folds over the inside cover to keep things tidy. It contains 70 pages total, with easily legible font, clear charts, and many photographs.

In terms of content, Evelyn walks you step by step through the process of designing your own knitted lace triangle shawl. She dissects the triangle into core components and explains each one clearly—from the beginning 18 rows that start your shaping and patterning, to the different possible pattern repeats, to ways to transition between repeats, and finally to your edging.

I especially appreciate the abundant photographs of knitted samplers, including the side-by-side comparisons of the same designs knit in stockinette and garter stitch. This book is living proof that you don't need color photos, glossy paper, and flashy marketing to make a great book—you want this book for its contents, not its window dressing.

Making Your Own
Evelyn bases her presentation on four beautiful lace patterns—Flower, Leaf, Medallion, and Ripple—that you can use either as-is or modify for your own special effect. She then combines these patterns in different ways, with and without transitional rows, to provide eight sample shawls. The stitch patterns are given in line-by-line instructions and in chart form.

She also gives helpful tips on such things as how to read charts, create your own pattern outline, seamlessly join yarns (a real issue with lace shawls), work four different cast-ons, and block your finished project. The appendix Size and Yardage Chart is its own work of art, giving you all the essential numbers for 12 sizes, including yarn yardage requirements ranging from lace to worsted-weight yarn.

I should note that this is not intended to be an exhaustive survey of every possible lace stitch or shawl pattern on the planet. Rather, this is a concise, unintimidating, tangible introduction that sets you well on your way to becoming a confident, freewheeling triangular shawl adventurer.

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