wild open spaces

Posted on Posted in book reviews/events, designing, lace/shawls


my friend rosemary hill—you have met her several times before on the blog—has written a new and very beautiful book about lace—new lace knitting; designs for wide open spaces. in the process of reading the publisher’s materials, i came across a comment by a reader stating that the book included “designs for  wild, open spaces”.

while this isn’t exactly the message in the subtitle, i had to kind of smile to myself, thinking of the many talks rosemary and i have had about lace. lace knitting technique, and design ideas; shop talk if you will. i’m sure we have covered the wild open spaces of lace at least once or twice.


in fact, much as it would fool you into focusing on the solid shapes, lace is nothing if not all about the open spaces. i love the idea that lace has the potential to be wild, and that someone else besides me appreciates the part of lace that isn’t there. in other words, there’s no there there, but in fact, it’s ALL there. i will leave off now so we can chew on that a bit, because i’m sure her publisher would rather i talked about the book.


(in my mind, i keep seeing this lovely top knit in our chebris lace yarn in deep silver charbon; soft with a slight fuzzy halo, it would be a knockout as a holiday evening blouse, to contrast with that bit of skin showing through).


rosemary—AKA romi—is well known for her shawl designs and the series of “7 shawls” compilations she has published as eBooks. she has also published several collections of accessories, gift knits, and jewelry. but we don’t get to see her garment designs as often and this book brings them to light.


full of beautifully conceived garments with unusual and very flattering shapes, the book gives rosemary an opportunity to translate her aesthetic into the third dimension. we are treated to a host of feminine, wearable designs for work, relaxation, and after hours.


the ravelry photos of this garment were styled differently and it is stunning as a standalone piece—romantic, summery, and cool. we are working on a sample of the tunic length version (to be released at a future date, i think) in hempshaugh lace, mmm.


even this very casual sweater is rich with openwork texture, though it has the feel of  a warmer fall knit—i love that! a sweater like this is terrific for travel (maybe in ginny DK?) because it crosses over into several climates with ease and its neutral color goes with everything.


of course, the book is not without shawls and accessories, some of which echo the motifs from the sweater designs, like this virginia city cloche and cowl. i am always impressed with the variety of shapes that rosemary comes up with for hats.


this crescent shawl, a take on the old shetland feather and fan favorite, appears to have a hem worked in layers, giving it a bit more weight and substance as an alternative to a scarf.

another thing i love about this book are the short written pieces that rosemary included to talk about her design aesthetic, what attracts her to pattern and lacework (eerily similar to my own), and the evolution of this collection.

i said it earlier this year and i’ll say it again; rosemary’s work lately is just spectacular—it literally makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck sometimes. between her experiments with scale in the surface design and her work in alternative overall shapes, she is just blowing my mind with one thing after another.


but don’t let a design like this intimidate you; the book is chock full of tips and notes from romi to guide through each design concept. each chapter focuses on a different type of lace motif and graduates from its application in a smaller, more manageable project to one that is larger and more complex. there is definitely plenty of learning support in its pages. which is why you should consider getting a copy!


to purchase your copy today, please click here.

OR you can enter to win the extra copy generously provided by interweave knits, publisher of this book. to enter, leave a comment telling us which of the designs in the book you would knit and which bare naked wools yarn you would use. it doesn’t have to be a design on this page; you can pick any of the 19 designs from the book. leave your project plan as a comment at the end of this post by 9 pm EDT on wednesday, 10/28—we will draw a winner and announce it soon after.


59 thoughts on “wild open spaces

  1. I would be inclined to use the cubecou sport to make the Manzanita Tee. Pink is nice, but a silvery gray is more my style.

  2. I’d make the pullover pictured by the Colorado license plates in Kent DK in Mussel shell.

  3. I’d make the Salt Grass Pull (over? surely that over is missing from the Ravelry pattern name) out of Confection in Dark Chocolate.

  4. Lovely book and patterns.
    I particularly like the Crystal Bay Shawl and the Manzanita Tee. As far as yarn? I would definitely need the Knitspot crew’s advice for that!
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

  5. I like the Little City Tee. I think it would be lovely in Better Breakfast Blend. There are so many great designs in Romi’s book!

  6. Wow, I love all the patterns. Definitely one for my knitting library. I think my favourite is the Talus cardigan.

  7. I’m kind of partial to the Bright Moment Cardigan. (It is definitely sweater weather here now.) I think it would look great in Better Breakfast or Hempshaugh fingering.

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