Big Yarn, Beautiful Lace Knits

20 Shawls, Hats, Ponchos, and More in Bulky Yarn

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Pub Date 01 Jul 2019 | Archive Date 12 Jul 2019
Rowman & Littlefield, Stackpole Books

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Lace gets a whole new look! Lace has traditionally been knit in finer weight yarns to create airy, delicate designs. But when knit in bulky yarns, lace becomes bold, graphic, and dramatic. Working with thicker yarns also makes the projects move along more quickly and the lace repeats shorter, so it's easy to learn new stitches and techniques. For those new to bulky yarns, Barbara Benson shows you how these yarns work best in lace designs and provides tips and tricks for reading and executing lace patterns. Then you are ready to knit any of the 20 patterns for beautiful lacy shawls, mitts, hats, cowls, blankets, and more. Gorgeous photography by Gale Zucker shows the pieces to their full, stunning effect. Get those big needles and chunky yarn ready to roll!

Barbara Benson is an independent designer, knitting instructor, and the author of Mosaic & Lace Knits. She lives in Sarasota, Florida, and her designs are available online as well as in various books and publications. She teaches at both local yarn stores and national venues such as Interweave Yarnfest. Her love for teaching and talking about knitting can also be seen in the hundreds of videos on her popular YouTube channel “WatchBarbaraKnit.”

Lace gets a whole new look! Lace has traditionally been knit in finer weight yarns to create airy, delicate designs. But when knit in bulky yarns, lace becomes bold, graphic, and dramatic. Working...

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ISBN 9780811737876
PRICE $24.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

Disclaimer, first, that I have not actually tried to knit any of the patterns in this book. Having said that, though, I have read all the patterns in this book, and found them to be clear and consice, which is important in getting the lace knits lined up.

The book is visually indexed. The patterns run from easy to hard, as most books go. And the selections are, as it says in the title, shawls, hats and scarves. Because you are knitting with fatter yarn, the projects go a lot faster.

And, if you have ever looked at a pattern and though, I like it, but I want to tweak it to be yours this book offers hints on how to do diviations.

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Highly recommended for those who are getting sick of the same old, same old. And there is nothing funner, when you are in a slump, to finish a project more quickly then you thought possile.
Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

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I am just beginning to knit in lace. This book is GORGEOUS! I loved the pictures, the descriptions, and how the author came about each pattern.
I felt that the book was a great resource and I loved all of the patterns. I liked that there was a mix of shawls, scarves, hats, gloves, and other.
The colors chosen for the works were great and vibrant.
Overall, a wonderful book about lace knits!

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Big Yarn, Beautiful Lace Knits
by Barbara Benson

This book is filled with beautiful projects and each is in the family of Lace. 20 projects from hats, scarfs, gloves, shawls and throws using chunky dense yarn, but still have the openness of lacework. You can start off with learning the difference between knitted lace and lace knitting, chart reading and knitting symbols. From there you can then read and understand the instructions for your project. As you progress on your project and find a stitch you’re unsure of, some of the more difficult ones are explained in detail how to complete. Each project includes 1 or more photos and very clear instructions and charts.

If your looking for a new and refreshing knitting experience, then this book is for you!
I choose my first project to be the Shoot the Moon Shawl. Happy Knitting!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


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Big Yarn, Beautiful Lace Knits is a tutorial knit guide for large gauge lace projects with bulky and super bulky yards.

Recently I've been knitting incubator sets for the local preemie intensive care unit at our local hospital. These are tiny knits with 2-3mm needles (US 0-1) and fingering weight yarn. I was -really- looking forward to a quick knit project with big needles and speedy results. This book definitely fit the bill.

Due out 1st July 2019 from Stackpole books, it's 128 pages and available in paperback and ebook formats. Author Barbara Benson is known to Ravelry users as vox8 and from her active youtube channel, WatchBarbaraKnit. There are 20 projects included: 12 scarves, shawls, a poncho, and cowls, 4 hats, 2 handwear projects, a vest, and a throw.

The patterns are listed in the table of contents by their designer names, and not by type of project. So"Shoot the Moon" is a shawl, "Asymmetrical Balance" is a unisex scarf, etc. It's not necessarily a detraction, since there is a visual index with page numbers at the end of the book, and also to be fair, no knitter in history has ever bought a knitting book without paging through all the patterns first. I did not check every pattern slavishly, but as far as I can tell, the book's 20 patterns are not available as single downloads on any of the regular sites (Ravelry, Patternfish, Loveknitting, and knitCompanion).

I chose Sparrow Grass Hat (p. 17) as my test knit, since I happened to have a couple skeins of the called for yarn (in acid yellow from my 'what was I drinking?!' impulse yarn shopping days apparently. I literally don't remember buying this yarn). Anyhow, a lot of the details appealed to me. The background is a rib, so there's no cuff to the hat, the stretch is 'baked in'. It's a plain shape and quick to knit (last minute gift right there). PS As the author says the pattern looks like spears of asparagus (it does!), and as we all adore asparagus here at our house, I named the resultant hat my asparagus hat. The project was painless to knit (disclaimer, this is absolutely NOT the designer's fault, but the yarn (Wool of the Andes superwash bulky) was extremely rough and felt like knitting a cactus). It softened up a lot with the wool conditioner when I blocked it... but use caution if you're knitting something that's intended to rub against skin). I know you're not supposed to use conditioner on superwash wool and the knitting police are gonna get me.. but this stuff was SUPER itchy and I didn't want to scare the folks on the bus commute and make them think I had lice instead of a scratchy hat). I found no mistakes in the pattern, and it knitted up very quickly.

I really like that almost all of the lace patterns included the stitch diagrams as well as the written instructions. This is not a how-to-knit book; it presupposes some familiarity with knitting and reading a pattern. None of these patterns are beyond the capabilities of a determined beginner, so long as you have access to some support from your local knitting guru. As an aside, I wholeheartedly recommend group knitting. It's more fun to knit together and you always have access to people who can help you if you find yourself trying to translate a 1930s Hungarian sock pattern without, you know, speaking Hungarian (yep, been there, done that).

All in all, an appealing collection of lace accessories including a fair number of unisex patterns.

Four stars!

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Sometimes it can be difficult to make thicker yarns elegant/pretty/delicate, but this book provides great patterns that really covers both bases nicely. Cannot wait to make "Un, Deux, Trois", a beautiful shawl pattern.

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A very nice pattern book for the coming cool weather season. The concept of this book is lace knitting with larger sized needles and bulkier weights. The results? Quicker projects with more intricate, showier designs than you normally see with bulky yarns.

I quite like this idea and will definitely give several of these patterns a try. The hat patterns looked especially appealing. There's also mittens, shawls, scarves, and other cool weather projects and garments. I appreciate seeing patterns for use with larger sized needles (these range from about size 10 to size 13 - large but not too large), since a lot of the magazine patterns for lacey knitting are for teeny tiny needles that strain my patience and eyesight.

The introductory material was quite nice as well, explaining the concept of the book and the basics of this type of knitting. Thanks!

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What a nice surprise! When you're looking for a quick knit, bulky yarn is a great choice. Add in lace and you have a beautiful project that knits up in a flash. This collection contains a nice range of projects from scarves and hats to mitts, shawls and more. Photographs are beautiful shot, showing details well. I also appreciated their choice of models - it's great to see more representation.

Thank you to Rowman & Littlefield and Netgalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Beginning knitters looking for skill building patterns would do well enough to pick up a copy of Big Yarn, Beautiful Lace Knits. The explanations of lace knitting and the stitches used to crate the lace effect are introduced in a clear manner and accompanied by pictures that show how the steps are performed.

Filled with 20 patterns covering shawls, scarves, mitts, cowls, hats, ponchos and throws this book is a great addition to your knitting library. Quick to knit beautiful lace projects that will be keepsakes and gifts happily received.

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Book has lots of interesting quick lace projects. Since they are knit with thick yarns and large needles, they are very quick to do. I knitted a hat from the book, Rupee Slouch. It was easy and it looks great. The pattern was easy to understand. I used charts for knitting, but they also provided written instructions. They included lace knitting primer in the beginning of the book, and some additional techniques at the end. There is also a photo key to all models int he book so they are easy to see at a glance and find what you want.
Sometimes you just need something really quick, be it a gift, or just a satisfaction of something between big projects. I would usually say to check out ravelry to see all the projects in the book, but the book is not listed there yet. Hopefully, soon, it is worth it.

I received a digital copy of the book via NetGalley

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I really appreciate details like "this pattern uses over 90% of the yarn" to give knitters warning about gauge, but I wish that these patterns had offered alternative yarn choices or simply said "x amount of this weight" needed. Trying to figure out which yarns I might use instead requires figuring out what that yarn is like (searching) and then finding alternatives.

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I can't even begin to say how excited I was to be approved for a review copy of this book. I'm a huge fan of the designer and I own her other books. Finally, a larger yarn design book with actual pieces I would love to make!

The photography is, of course, stunning. The instructions are very clear and easy to understand, and the author gives helpful information and useful tips on yarn choices, needles, etc. She also demonstrates how to do the lace stitches in a way everyone can understand and follow along with.

The projects are nice! Who knew bulky yarn could make really pretty lace? The pieces in this book are right up my alley as a hat enthusiast and a fingerless mitts fan. There are also nice elaborate shawls which really showcase the yarn and stitches.

This is one I'm going to buy in paperback as I like physical copies of good books.

I'll update my review with links once the book is live for reviews.

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I love this book of beautiful projects! The instructions are easy to follow and I look forward to relaxing and picking up my needles. I really want to knit the Shoot The Moon Shawl.
Many thanks to Roman & Littlefield and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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I love the patterns in this book! Lace is so beautiful to knit and normally so time consuming. So being able to knit it on a much bigger yarn will make the projects so much faster, yet just as beautiful. I can't wait to start one! But need to decide what to cast on for first!

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Big Yarn, Beautiful Lace Knits 20 Shawls, Hats, Ponchos, and More in Bulky Yarn by Barbara Benson
Starts with table of contents and introduction about lace knitting and 'what if' and thus this book was created.
Basic instructions on how to read the charts and the difference between lace knitting and knitted lace. Other detailed instructions include reading a chart,
other important information. What I like is I've done lace knitting using very fine threads with tiny needles and it takes forever and too easy to drop a stitch.
I love that with this bigger larger products the end result will come much faster-true gratification.
I feel even a beginner would have no problem with the patterns in this book.
Love the sections on markers as I've had to use lifelines before. Like explanation about YO's and their purpose in the lace knitting.
Love the section on why the author choose different yarn types: how the author includes both types of yarn selections in a pattern-results will be different, thus the blocking instructions.
Fit, drape, shaping all play into swatching. Swatching using back and forth or in the round-never thought about this before-SO useful.
Brilliant vibrant colorful photos show different angles of the patterns. LOVE that there is a man in a few of them making the item for both sexes.
Pattern start with a title and bit summary of the shapes and what makes the pattern
Finished sizes, yarn, needles, gauge, special stitches which are explained here, and then instructions row by row to start and instructions for charted rows.
What I like also about this book is that it's not only shawls but other coverings: hats and wristers
End has sections on techniques with pictures and diagrams and also a list of abbreviations and how to do them and what they mean in the patterns.
Yarn resources are also noted and acknowledgements. Love visual index showing picture of the item and name and page number for each. What a super collection.
Like patterns on so many and figure they'd also look great in a baby charity afghan.
Received this review copy from Rowman & Littlefield via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
#BigYarnBeautifulLaceKnits #NetGalley

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I received an ARC from the author, #NetGalley and the publisher. Thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review.

When one thinks "lace", one usually thinks fine yarns with openwork that are incredibly difficult to produce. Ms. Benson proves that lace need not be dainty nor difficult to be beautiful and all those big bulky yarns are just as good if not better for lace accessories.
Ms. Zucker brings Ms. Benson's work to life in beautiful photography. A wonderful addition to the knitter's reference library.

5 out of 5 stars.

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These patterns are very easy to follow! The instructions are clear and direct. These patterns are also so beautiful! Can’t wait to try more of them!

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This pattern book is wonderful! If you love lace but also fast projects, this is for you. I was able to knit a Drunk Spider in just a single night. The patterns are easy to follow, and the book's design is lovely to look at.

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This is a great resource for lovers of thick, chunky yarns! I never imagined how lovely lace is with bulky yarn, but Barbara Benson showcases the varied uses for thick yarn in this book. The photos are lovely and the instructions are very well written.

I love that many of the projects are using basic yarns that can be found in any big box craft store mixed with some more luxurious yarns, but can be easily interchanged. The patterns vary between hats, scarves, wraps, blankets and even a vest. The only thing I wish this book had were beginner-intermediate-advanced suggestions for skill level of the projects.

Thanks to #NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

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I have been knitting off and on since I was a teenager and I have the worst habit of buying big bulky yarns that I love but having no pattern to use them for. This book was the solution to my problems. The patterns in this book are both fun and gorgeous. Most patterns for lace knits that I have found in the past were for yarns with a much smaller weight but this book gives me the opportunity to knit with the yarn I love while using a pattern that I enjoy as well. The instructions seemed clear and the photos were great at showcasing the end products. I will continue to be using this book for many future knitting plans and I recommend this book for the knitters out there who, like me, are looking for beautiful lace knitting projects with "big yarn."

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This book has great patterns that seem easy enough to follow if you have some basic knitting skills. I like how the author takes the time to talk about some of the different stitches before the pattern if they are new. She also goes over how to do different types of cast on and other stitches with pictures of what it is supposed to look like and how you should hold the needles and the yarn. I can't wait until I can try some of these patterns. Look forward to seeing what else this author has put out.

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I was excited to find a book that outlined patterns for knitting with larger yarns in beautiful lace patterns. This book has some very useful advice and very clear instructions for beginner knitters. In particular, I found the descriptions of how to knit and purl with shared stitches and how to do a double yarn over to be very helpful and clear. I had struggled in the past to wrap my brain around both concepts.

There are some truly beautiful patterns in this book. I'm most excited to make some of the stunning shawls. With the larger yarn, they really do look like pieces of modern art!

The only major flaw I found with this book, is that the charts for the lace patterns do not show property on Kindle for Mobile App for the digital copy. I would gladly purchase a physical copy of this book to work on some of the more complex patterns and projects - there is a chunky lace blanket that is absolutely breathtaking, but unfortunately, the chart does not show on the mobile Kindle app to start working the project.

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loved this book! great instructions and super clear pictures! Love how the stitches were broke down!

Will totally buy this book once it comes out!

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I can't wait to get started on several of the projects in this book!  What a great idea to use lace knitting techniques with bulky yarns to create heavier items in beautiful patterns.  The designs look great, the patterns are easy to follow and suitable for beginner to intermediate knitters and the photography is great!

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Barbara Benson loves to ask, "What if?" Her newest book, _Big Yarn, Beautiful Lace Knits_ is the result of experiments and exploration into knitting lace, not with the delicate fine yarns traditionally chosen, but with big bulky yarns. Included are twenty designs that answer _what if this was knit in bulky_.

For those new to lace knitting, the _Getting Started with Lace_ section at the start of the book will be beneficial. Here, Benson explains what lace knitting is, how to read a chart, two different methods of blocking and why one is better than the other, and some words on gauge. Do you need to read this section if you are comfortable knitting lace? No, but I think you should. This introduction is well written! At the end of the book, the techniques are detailed. Why at the end? It helps you get to the projects quicker and not everyone needs a step-by-step on how to work a circular cast on. If you do need to learn, or want a refresher, the instructions are clear with lots of photographs to help. At this part of the book is also where you'll find a list of abbreviations. One small touch I like is the visual index!

The twenty designs explore different techniques and accessories. While there are the expected shawls, there are also scarves, cowls, fingerless mitts, hats, a throw, and a vest.

The instructions are both written and charted. Where necessary, a schematic is included. Gail Zucker's photography is stunning too. The project yarns cover an array from those found in big box stores to what is found on a shelf in a local yarn store. Many of the projects include notes for modification, as most projects are one size, these notes will help make a project fit a larger or smaller recipient. For example, a stockinette section on a poncho may be worked over fewer stitches before the lace panel, making it shorter.

Most designs in the book caught my eye. _Shoot the Moon_ for its simplicity, _Asymmetrical Balance_ because it's something that isn't overly feminine. The _Coefficient of Modulation_, as this cowl is worked in a technique Benson explored in her first book, _Mosaic Lace_. Giant Elves made me stop and giggle for the mental image it portrays. The Hearts in Chains poncho also looks like a nice knit, the large stockinette section is calming and the lace motif section easy to read. Avasarala made me pause because of its unique and versatile shape.

This is a stunning collection that shows that the answer to _"What if Lace is writ large?"_ is "Many delightful possibilities!" What would you knit?

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Knitting lace with thick yarn and big needles can give you gorgeous results fast and if that appeals to you, Big Yarn, Beautiful Lace Knits by Barbara Benson is a great choice. The lace is simple enough for knitters new to yarn overs and decreases (and has a section on yarn overs that taught me some new things) and it's pretty enough to tempt more experienced knitters away from their laceweight.

There are pictures showing each project from multiple angles so that you can see exactly how it's supposed to look. The charts are large and clear -- and there are row by row written instructions for knitters who prefer to do things that way.

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I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. Big Yarn, Beautiful Lace Knits is by Barbara Benson is a gorgeous collection of 20 patterns to knit with bulky yarn. Shawls, hats, fingerless mittens, scarves, ponchos, and even a throw are beautifully designed with clear instructions and lovely photographs that make the most of each design. If you are looking for beautiful garments that will knit up quickly this book is definitely one that will satisfy. The patterns will appeal to every level of knitter. The technique section is well done and the index with photos at the back of the book is a handy feature. Publishing Date July 1, 2019 #StackpoleBooks #BigYarnBeautifulLaceKnits #BarbaraBenson #NetGalley

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Barbara Benson in Big Yarn, Beautiful Lace Knits presents the simple idea of knitting lace, which is usually knit on small needles with lightweight yarn, and knitting with larger needles and bulkier yarn. There are clear directions and beautiful photographs of the items which include hats, scarves, and shawls for men and women.

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I am so excited about this book. I am a loose knitter so, consequently, usually have to go down a needle size to obtain the gauge. When I knit with fingering or, heaven forbid, lace weight yarn I ended up going down to needles that felt like toothpicks. It also took forever to get an inch of knitting done. This book solves that problem. I look forward to trying out the Shoot the Moon and Rocinante shawls as well as the Hearts in Chains poncho and the Bonus Stitch Hat. The Modify Me! comments at the end of each pattern were very helpful suggestions. The Visual Index in the back helps you locate a specific pattern easily. The circular cast-on was new to me. I feel the author should have mentioned putting a lifeline in on a resting row in case you have to rip back. The author published written and charted instructions for almost all the patterns which I appreciated because I prefer written instructions. The only major problem was that none of the charts were visible on my Kindle! As two of the more complicated patterns were only charted and not written, I could not see them. maybe it was because it was an ARC copy?I received an ARC for my honest review.

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Great book. Easy to read directions and I have never thought of knitting lace with bulky yarn, which is a fantastic idea. Faster gratification on the knitter's part.

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Found the patterns in this book well illustrated. Patterns are easy to follow and beautiful when completed. A beginner following these patterns would be abke to complete them.

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