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Laceworks by Yoko Suzuki Reviewed Sherry Kappel
softcover, $13.95, 74 pages
Approximately 37 projects
Nihon Vogue Printed in Japan
distributed Kodansha International/USA Ltd., through Harper & Row, NY


I recently found this full-color book, and several others from the same series/publisher, at Borders bookstore in Schaumburg, IL. To be honest, I bought this book for one pattern: the Rambling Rose on Page 10. Something about it struck me as being extremely intricate and so very unique: it is a round doily, worked in DMC Cordonnet No. 40, and worked in a sort of sun's rays effect. In between each spoke of the "sun's rays", there are delicate picot -- one in between each of the first, closely worked spokes. Two more picots in another round of spokes as they fan further out, and finally, three in the last rows of the round.

But the edge (for Rambling Rose) is truly the "gotcha" on this one:there are 16 Irish Crochet roses, intertwined with a vine that is twisted an looped. After reviewing the instructions, I learned that you actually work your crochet threads over the top of a heavier weight cord. A technique I haven't triedyet, but am anxious to!

The book has the following sections: My Irish Lace (doilies), Nice Interior (centerpieces & tablecloths), Decorated Beautifully (flower-like doilies), Romantic & Elegant (herb sachet amd pochette), and Lace Fantasy (small framed lace designs).

Saintpaulia: The centerpiece on Page 19 is so unusual: one medium-sized petal motif, later surrounded by smaller petal motifs.The third round has just a shade bigger petal motifs which are separated by a V-corded and twisted round that looks highly challenging! (I probably would leave the outer "mesh" off -- all the "good stuff" is in the center of this piece...) There's also a rectangular centerpiece on Page 23, called Geranium, that has cut-outs at each corner --not your standard rectangular doily, in other words.

One interesting feature of this book is that many of the doilies are worked and photographed both in white AND done in colors. I liked seeing the difference -- the subtle effects of each. (Incidentally: it's why I said"approximately 37" projects. These patterns are counted twice-- once done in colors, a second time done in white!)

Another interesting feature of this book (and all others I saw in the series) is that it includes a gauge printed right on the inside back cover! How handy! It's marked off in both centimeters and in inches.

Step-By-Step, Inch-By-Inch: This is a section in the back of the book -- printed like all instructions: in a nice, readable dark gray ink on high quality paper (hey hey! no glare!) -- gives you the Basics of Irish Lace. Having never done Irish Lace before, I found the photographs instructive since they showed both the front AND the back of the rose used in the demonstration (14 steps).

The construction of a clover (5 steps), a leaf (5 steps), and working with a core thread (e.g., making a vine, 5 steps) are used to further illustrate this exquisite crochet technique. Basic crochet symbols and stitches are explained later in thissection, and, finally, succinct instructions on "Finishing Crochet Lace Neatly" are given.

This book has origins outside of the U.S. and thus the instructions are in metric (measurements are in centimeters and hooks are measured in millimeters) and some named materials may not be immediately recognized. However, as I mentioned, designs in this book are truly exquisite, highly unique, and beautifully presented. It really makes you want to attempt the projects.

I would like to review the other books in this series. Those books are: Pineapple Lace (82 pages), Basic Laces (48 pages), Living with Beautiful Crochet (82 pages), Fancy Crochet Lace (98 pages), Golden Lace (90 pages), Fine Crocheted Lace (90 pages), BeautifulLaces (82 pages), and Lace for Beginners (82 pages). Each of these feature between 35 and 50 projects; all the books $13.95.

I'll let you know when I finish my Rambling Rose!

Reviewed for Crochet Partners by Sherry Kappell ( 8/96