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New Vintage Lace (& Giveaway!)

UPDATE 5.16: Congratulations to book winner Rita!


I often describe lace knitting to non-lace knitters as “there’s lace knitting, then there’s everything else.” I find that more than any other type of knitting, knitting lace is like opening the flood gates of technique, complexity and a certain elegance that can only be achieved through hand knit lace. Like any other knitting technique, we can knit something very basic, an amuse bouche of sorts for knitting, then we can take it a step further, then another step further, and before you know it, you’re knitting hardcore lace with ease. When I’m looking for a challenging knit (and let’s face it, it’s pretty rare that I get to knit something for myself), I look towards lace.


I was excited to get my hands on the new book by Andrea Jurgrau of BadCatDesigns, New Vintage Lace (Interweave, F+W; $24.99) coming out June.

I really like the idea behind this collection of 18 patterns – all vintage doily-inspired lace motifs from the past repurposed, modernized and turned into something wearable like a shawl, hat, scarf or wrap. Yes, doilies have their place and the motifs from vintage patterns are often stunning, but you can’t wear a doily (I suppose you could, but that’s a post for another day).

my favorite shawl from the book, Blue Dahlia

my favorite shawl from the book, Blue Dahlia

The first section has a few pages devoted to using different fibers and the benefits, as well as the typical amount of yardage used (helpful if you’re not good at guessing and have a limited amount of yarn on hand), techniques and something I found interesting – different types of beads. I love putting beads in a special project (usually a shawl), but not being a beader aside from when they make an occasional appearance in my lace knitting, I don’t know much about them. There are some lovely illustrated tutorials throughout the book and a great section devoted to the importance of swatching. Yes, I know. Everyone hates swatching, but wouldn’t you rather spend a few hours doing so rather than frogging an entire project because you hated how the yarn looked?


There have been many books devoted to vintage lace and scads of patterns on Ravelry that have their roots in vintage doilies (Hemlock Ring, anyone?) but this book has an elegance and cleanness to it that I appreciate. Lace can be complicated, the charts overwhelming if you’re not used to them and this book does a nice job of giving those charts breathing room and showing you multiple angles of the finished projects.


If you’re a lace shawl knitter like me, I’d say this is a book worth adding to your collection. I want to knit about half the things in this book and next chance I get, I’ll be knitting Blue Dahlia for myself!

That being said, let’s do a giveaway for one lucky reader, shall we? If you’re a regular reader, you know how much I love a good giveaway, so let’s get this party started (this is a particularly nice giveaway, because you’ll be getting this book before it’s even out)!

Please leave a comment with the answer to this trivia question (US residents only, please): How many yards of yarn would you need to get from the Earth to the moon? Winner will be chosen at random on Friday, May 16th and will be contacted by email.

30 Comments Post a comment
  1. mooskers5 #

    alot alot alot 🙂

    May 14, 2014
  2. Cori #

    413,600,000 yards, or about 1,880,000 skeins of Cascade 220.

    May 14, 2014
  3. 420,388,232.72! I feel like I have nearly that much in my stash sometimes (my husband definitely feels that way). I’ll be knitting that Blue Dahlia, too. It’s gorgeous. It has been a while since I’ve knitted lace, too.

    May 14, 2014
  4. Susan (sjanova) #

    Average distance to moon, per Wikipedia, converted to yards = 420,464,000.

    Wikipedia: “In astronomy, a lunar distance (LD) is a measurement of the distance from the Earth to the Moon. The average distance from Earth to the Moon is 384,400 km (238,900 mi).[1] (about 389 LD is 1 AU, the Earth-Sun distance) The actual distance varies over the course of the orbit of the moon, from 363,104 km (225,622 mi) at the perigee and 405,696 km (252,088 mi) at apogee, resulting in a differential range of 42,592 km (26,465 mi).”

    So I used the 238,900 mile figure in a conversion program I found on Google.

    And then converted to skeins of Juniper Moon Farm Findley (since we want laceweight — it’s about 800 yards per skein) and that makes it 525,327.5 skeins of laceweight yarn. I figure that means we could supply about a quarter of a million knitters with that amount of yarn and make them very happy.

    May 14, 2014
  5. It depends on who you read. I’ll go with approx. 420,388,232.72 yards. Thanks for the giveaway. This books looks fantastic. I can’t wait to see the rest of it.

    May 14, 2014
  6. My Google search suggests 420,388,232.72 yards is the best response to this question. This book looks like a must-have. Thanks for sharing.

    May 14, 2014
  7. Sue hansen #

    Stunning ! 6 miles maybe! Not good with numbers since I am dyslexic would love to have the book! Spin my own lace so if I run out I just spin more!!

    May 14, 2014
  8. 420,464,000 yards.
    This is a Gorgeous collection of shawls. I don’t know which I will make first.
    Check out Tanis’s new design on Ravelry “warrior shawl”.

    Thank you, Eileen

    May 14, 2014
  9. You would need 420,388,233 yards of yarn to reach the moon from Earth.

    May 14, 2014
  10. Margaret Romig #

    413,600,000 yards of yarn = 1,047,089 skeins of Tosh Sock.

    May 14, 2014
  11. Margaret Romig #

    And that purple shawl above takes my breath away. I never thought of myself as a foo-foo lace person but I adore knitting it now. Lace is too challenging to be foo-foo.

    May 14, 2014
  12. Elke P. #

    420 388 320 yards – Great giveaway I really liked the Coeur d’Amour and the Sand Dollar Wrap I my top picks of the book. Thank you

    May 14, 2014
  13. Julie Spiegleman #

    closest – 397,096,480
    furthest – 443,674,880
    average – 420,384,800

    May 14, 2014
  14. I would love a copy of this book. It would take
    440, 000, 000 yards of yarn to reach the moon.

    May 14, 2014
  15. Lori #

    420,384,800 yards! Lovely designs and I can’t wait to get my hands on this book. Thank you for the great giveaway.

    May 14, 2014
  16. Lorinda #

    An average of about 422,400,000 yards It varies by many thousands of miles. But it is an average of about 240,000 miles, and at 5,280 feet per mile that is 1,267,200,000 feet or 422,400,000 yards.Looks like a cool book, would love to see it all, but love to win it even more!

    May 14, 2014
  17. Jacki Gordon #

    420,388,232.72 yards – hmmmm I have that in boxes but it would be a very multi-colored shawl. I’d love the book! Also love, love the photos of Callum over the years. Happy Birthday!

    May 14, 2014
  18. Leslie Nelle Urinyi #

    420,384,800 yards based on on average distance earth to moon is 238,855 miles

    May 14, 2014
  19. Sharon imler #

    Love the book, about 440,000,000, give or take

    May 14, 2014
  20. Cynthia #

    About 420,388,232.72 yards….or the amount I have in my yarn closet! As for the wearing of the doily, let’s just say it’s been done and it was FABULOUS! Ok, ok, maybe there were a few stares and snickers…..heehee!

    May 15, 2014
  21. Mona Brittain #

    You would need 420,388320 yards.

    May 15, 2014
  22. Karen Lauterwasser #

    I can see that lots of readers are closet astronomy nerds (like me). The average distance (since our Moon’s orbit is elliptical) is 420,388,320 yards. Apogee (furthest away) is 443,674,880 yards, and perigee is 397,094,720 yards. All are much further than I would ever like to walk!

    To contribute to the astronomy theme, here is a link to an event that happened last night: the full moon and four of the five “naked eye” planets in the sky at one time:

    Too cloudy where I live to see it, but just knowing about it is still pretty cool.

    May 15, 2014
  23. Rita Miller #

    Just love this book! So many pretty shawls. 420,384,800 yds of yarn needed from earth to moon using the average distance of 238,855 miles. But since the moon’s orbit is elliptical, it’s not a consistent distance (

    May 15, 2014
  24. Kathy #

    One small amount of yarn for man, one enormously unmeasurable and not in my stash amount of yardage for knitters…looks like a wonderful book.

    May 15, 2014
  25. Joyce Pusel #

    It depends on where in it’s orbit the moon is, since the orbit isn’t circular. 420,384,800 yds using the average distance of 238,855 milesThat’s a lot of yarn!

    May 15, 2014
  26. Cindy #

    My Google search came up with approximately 420,464,000 but it depends on how close the moon is to us at any given time. Thanks so much for the giveaway, and I enjoyed your review. I agree with you about the elegance and challenge of lace knitting. There is nothing like it!

    May 15, 2014
  27. Julie T #

    More yards than I have. Besides, knitting sends me to the moon every time!

    May 15, 2014
  28. Gina in the San Francisco Bay Area #

    420,383,040 yards (238,854 miles x 5,280 ft/mile x 1/3 yard/ft) I’m sad to say my stash probably has enough yarn for the round trip. Definitely SABLE.

    May 15, 2014
  29. According to sources – 420,388,232.72 yards. That’s even more than I have in my stash (I think).

    May 15, 2014
  30. Rita Miller #

    Thank you SO much! I am THRILLED to be receiving this wonderful book!

    May 16, 2014

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