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New Lace Knitting with Romi Hill + A Giveaway!

UPDATE: Congratulations to winner Molly! Molly, check your email!

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If you’re a lace knitter, you know Romi Hill. This very talented lady has a beautiful new book out, New Lace Knitting, Designs for Wide Open Spaces (Interweave/F+W; $24.99). Not only is she fabulous, but she has a way of knitting lace that makes you wonder “how does she do that?”

New Lace Knitting - jacket art

Romi was kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions about her new book for us during this busy holiday season. Side note: her book is on sale right now, so if you need a gift for a knitter, this would be a great one!

Tanis Gray (TG): Your new book is lovely – and I’d expect nothing less from such a talented lady! In your introduction you talk about learning to knit from your mother after watching your grandmother crochet lace on a tiny hook with tiny yarn. What made you start with knitting rather than crochet?

Romi Hill (RH): Thank you so much, Tanis! For some reason, I never really caught the crochet bug. Looking back, I think I was drawn most to the orderly rows and stitches of knitting. In crochet, all is basically freeform in that you can really place your hook wherever you wish. In knitting, you must deal with each stitch. Knitting satisfies my OCD side.

New Lace Knitting - Hope Valley Flounce interior beauty image

Hope Valley Flounce

TG: You are obsessed with lace! What made you gravitate towards that technique over another?

RH: It’s really kind of funny, actually. I’m not a lacy person, and I’ve never worn frilly clothes. But I’ve always been obsessed with the patterning in lace. It’s the geometry geek in me! I love playing with the negative space and the different ways a lace pattern can be knitted up for so many effects. For instance, the juxtaposition of increases to decreases…moving them maybe one stitch away relative to one another or changing the type of decrease can completely change the fabric. I find it fascinating to play with all the possibilities.

New Lace Knitting - Oak Flat Road Shawl interior beauty image

Oak Flat Road Shawl

TG: Your new book takes classic lace patterns and combines them with modern fits and silhouettes. What made you want to go in this direction?

RH: It’s been sort of in the back of my mind for years. I love lace, but as I mentioned before: I’m not really a frilly kind of person. My thought was to design a group of garments and accessories that would make lace into part of an everyday wardrobe. I wanted a group of pieces that had a modern vibe, but would also stand the test of time, because when I knit a sweater or other garment, I want to be able to wear it season after season. Also? I have a special shelf of my very favorite books. My dream was to wind up on knitters’ special shelf with a collection of pieces that could be worn season after season and knit more than once. I worked on making each and every piece special and/or different in some way.

New Lace Knitting - Town Square Shawl interior beauty image

Town Square Shawl

TG: You cover a lot of ground in your book, from sweaters to hats to cowls to scarves, proving that lace does not automatically mean “shawl.” What is your favorite garment to make with lace?

RH: Hmmmmmmmm. That’s a difficult one! I think my favorite garment is whatever I’m obsessed with at any given time. I used to be completely a sweater knitter. I think I’m probably headed back that way again.

New Lace Knitting - Bright Moment Cardigan interior beauty image

Bright Moment Cardigan

TG: I simply must make the Bright Moment Cardigan! Stunning! Do you have a favorite garment(s) in this book and why?

RH: I’m so happy you like it! It’s difficult to pinpoint one favorite, to be honest. I worked SO hard to make them all appealing. I didn’t want to look back and cringe at anything. Ha! I think my favorite is the Salt Grass Pull. I love everything about the way it is constructed, the yarn used, the finishing details…. It is in the shape of a traditional gansey, but that’s where the similarities end! First, it’s knit top down, and second, it’s all over lace. Completely not traditional! The yarn used is a fluffy woolen spun yarn (Brooklyn Tweed Shelter) that keeps an amazing block, so I was able to make the mock turtleneck stand up by using smaller needle sizes. The cast on and bind offs are all tubular – I love the finished look to the edges. The neck is shaped with short rows that are incorporated into the lace, with special decreases so that there’s no interruption in the twisted stitch lace pattern. Then the shoulder strap lace panel is knit unbroken down the arm and ends in a point at the cuff. There is a small underarm gusset for free range of motion and the overall silhouette is so very easy to wear every day. And I love the color. It came out exactly as I had envisioned it.

New Lace Knitting - Salt Grass Pull interior beauty image

Salt Grass Pullover

TG: We follow each other on instagram and you often match your shoes and yarn. Does this happen by accident? 🙂

RH: Yes and no. I tend to get into a color groove. For the longest time, I was loving acid green above all things. Then plummy purples and deep reds. Then greys. I tend to collect things that go with my current color mood. 🙂

New Lace Knitting - Neoma's Shawl interior beauty image

Neoma’s Shawl

TG: Speaking of color, you have an excellent sense of color. You live in Nevada – do you find your location influences your palette?

RH: Thank you! Yes – I’m always very influenced by my surroundings. Though it’s the high desert, the color palette is incredible here. The night sky is a rich vibrant deep blue and the Milky Way is brilliant against the darkness – so amazing! The sunsets look like the sky is on fire, and the cloud formations are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. The sky is this gorgeous blue, and I don’t think there’s ever a day when we don’t see it popping through at least once. This afternoon, driving my son home, the sun was setting on the snowy mountains. The sky and clouds turned from a peach reflected in the snow into a stunning fiery orange and red. In the autumn, the trees in the valley are brilliant shades of gold and red against the backdrop of the High Sierras. If we’re lucky, we’ll see snowy winter in the mountains and autumn on the valley floor. I love to watch the weather roll down the Sierras towards us. I could watch it for hours…and have. And I could go on and on! It is always changing and so breathtakingly beautiful. I am constantly in awe.

New Lace Knitting - Williwaw Cardigan interior beauty image

Williwaw Cardigan

TG: Do you have a favorite fiber?

RH: Not really, no. I go through phases of what I like to use, but overall, I think there’s a time and place for almost any fiber.

TG: Where do you find your knitting inspiration?

RH: Everywhere. I love art, architecture, nature…. It all sort of percolates into ideas. I try to open myself to everything.

New Lace Knitting - Talus Cardigan interior beauty image

Talus Cardigan

TG: You are a woman of many talents and take beautiful knitting photos and make wonderful shawl pins. Can you tell us about your pins and other work?

RH: You are too kind! Thank you. 🙂 I’ve actually made jewelry since I was quite young. Also studied art, graphic design, music, sewing and all sorts of crafty stuff. I love creating, but I’ve been taking a hiatus on the shawl pins lately. I’m reaching a point where I need to change how I go about doing. I want to make All The Things, but there simply isn’t enough time!

New Lace Knitting - Silver Bird Slouch interior beauty image

Silver Bird Slouch

TG: You have a wildly successful yearly shawl club. Any plans to expand out of shawls?

RH: I think about it often. I don’t think I’ll have a different club; I like the way it’s working for now. But look for more in the coming year! Now that I’ve finished this mammoth project and almost caught up, I want to try new things! For instance, I’ve never steeked. This is clearly a very serious deficiency in my knitting education. It must be rectified! 😉

TG: Oh, come visit and I’ll teach you how to steek! I really like your “Romi’s Golden Rules” of lace knitting. Why did you feel these were important to include in your book?

RH: Above all, I want knitters to enjoy their lace knitting experience and come out with the result they’ve envisioned. Lace can be challenging for several reasons, and I want everyone to know that’s totally normal. My golden rules started out as part of a class, and a lot of people – some of whom are experienced lace knitters – have said they’ve kept them. I thought that was a great reason to include them. Even though you may already know most of them, maybe there’s something that will make a little light bulb go on and help you enjoy the experience even more.

New Lace Knitting - Virginia City Cloche and Cowl interior beauty image

Virginia City Cloche and Cowl

TG: What’s up next for you?

RH: That’s a secret…mostly because I want to do so many things and I need to narrow it down. Ha! But I think I’ve gotten it trimmed to two things that I am super excited about. Stand by!

———-

Thanks, Romi!

Let’s give a copy of Romi’s new book away, shall we? Answer the below trivia question correctly in the comments section and automatically be entered in to win a copy of the book. Contest open to USA residents only. A winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday, December 23rd.

In which year did the US postal system first issue Christmas stamps?

Good luck!

 

 

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41 Comments Post a comment
  1. The first Christ­mas stamp appeared on November 1, 1962.
    These patterns are beautiful, I love them all!!

    December 21, 2015
  2. Pennylane #

    1962

    December 21, 2015
  3. Julie Spiegleman #

    1962.

    December 21, 2015
  4. It appears it was in 1962. Thanks for the giveaway. Happy holidays!

    December 21, 2015
  5. kristine #

    Christmas stamps started in 1962.
    I’m encouraged that Romi has so many ideas on “next” she has to narrow it down. Sounds like more incredible patterns to come! Standing by…

    December 21, 2015
  6. Amy #

    It was 1962!

    December 21, 2015
  7. alicia perez #

    The first Christ­mas stamp was issued in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 1, 1962.
    Thank you for having these wonderful give aways.

    December 21, 2015
  8. Lisa Aiello #

    1962! I hope I win! I love Romi’s designs!

    December 21, 2015
  9. Karen #

    1962!! How cool is that? I love lace knitting and have never done any of her designs. I have added it to my Wish list! Thank you

    December 21, 2015
  10. Leslie Fehr #

    It was 1962 that they were first issued in the United States.

    December 21, 2015
  11. elaine #

    It was a red & green 4-cent stamps with a wreath, two candles, and the words “Christmas 1962.” ~ issued on Nov 1, 1962 🙂 WoW Tanis, thanks for a chance to win Romi’s newest book! It looks amazing.

    December 21, 2015
  12. It was in 1962.

    This book is stunning! Thank you for the giveaway.

    December 21, 2015
  13. Joan Pelletier #

    Well I think it would be l962 and in 2016 I would like to knit more lace especially if I win Romi’s new book. Merry Christmas, Tanis!

    December 21, 2015
  14. Halogue #

    1962

    December 21, 2015
  15. jill k #

    The year the USPS issued the first Christmas stamp was 1962. So excited about this book and the possibility of winning. Pick me please!!!! Texasjill on Ravelry.

    December 21, 2015
  16. Carol Perecman #

    1962. Thanks for the opportunity to win Romi’s book; I have her shawl patterns and they are wonderful. Looking forward to more sweaters!

    December 21, 2015
  17. jill k #

    The first Christmas stamp was produced and offered by the USPS in 1962. I am so excited about this book and the possibility of winning a copy. Pick me please! texasjill on Ravelry.

    December 21, 2015
  18. Linda Segal #

    The first Christmas stamp was issued in 1962.

    December 21, 2015
  19. Diana Hess #

    The first Christmas stamp was issued in 1962

    December 21, 2015
  20. Molly #

    1962 was the year the United States issued the first Christmas stamp. Merry Christmas and thank you for hosting this giveaway.

    December 21, 2015
  21. 1962

    Thanks and Merry Christmas!

    December 21, 2015
  22. Nicole #

    1962!

    December 21, 2015
  23. Julie T #

    1962! Love the lace in this book. Merry Christmas!

    December 21, 2015
  24. Nov. 1, 1962!

    December 21, 2015
  25. Nov. 1, 1962

    December 21, 2015
  26. Anita Kijak #

    1962

    December 21, 2015
  27. Anita Dodds #

    If Wikipedia is correct, the year is 1962.

    December 21, 2015
  28. Shaunna Bryant #

    November 1, 1962

    December 21, 2015
  29. Lorraine Jackson #

    I was 1962

    December 21, 2015
  30. Gillian Halicki #

    1962

    December 22, 2015
  31. Rosenia D Bailey #

    The first Xmas stamp was issued in 1962.

    December 22, 2015
  32. November 1, 1962

    December 22, 2015
  33. Barbara #

    1962. Beautiful book!

    December 22, 2015
  34. donnac368 #

    1962. I was 6 months old!

    December 22, 2015
  35. Sunshinedreams #

    November 1, 1962.

    What a fabulous book! I saw so many patterns that I loved! 🙂

    December 22, 2015
  36. craftyone #

    1962

    December 22, 2015
  37. photogmomma #

    It was four years before I was born – 1962. Thank you so much for the chance to win! I absolutely love her designs

    December 22, 2015
  38. Sara Watkins #

    They started in 1962!! Thanks.

    December 22, 2015
  39. Linda Barron #

    1962! I’m knitting chemo hats and love the slouch pattern; it would be so stylish for infusion patients! Beautiful designs, thanks for posting the interview, patterns and giveaway!

    December 23, 2015
  40. Colleen Danyluk #

    November 1, 1962. Her designs are beautiful!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the chance!!!!!!

    December 24, 2015
  41. Noreen #

    1962

    December 25, 2015

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