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Review: Ancient Egypt in Lace and Color by Anna Dalvi

Ancient Egypt in Lace and Color by Anna Dalvi,  Cooperative Press, 2012, 89pp.

I’ve always loved Anna’s first book — and I love this one even more, if that’s possible!

Anna presents us with 12 different patterns, featuring gorgeous yarn from indie and small dyers such as CephalopodindigodragonflyRocky Mountain DyeworkVerdant Gryphon, and more.

Each shawl was inspired by some aspect of ancient Egypt:   the gods (Thoth, Set (the cover shawl), etc), myths, places, and more.  The motifs range from fairly literal (the waxing and waning moons in Thoth) to more abstract (Girl with the Rose Red Slippers).  The colors themselves are symbolic and pertain directly to the theme of each pattern.

I love all the attention to detail and thought that Anna put into this collection!  This is a book you can read and enjoy, on top of the patterns.

Each pattern has clear charts.  Most have pictures of the shawl laid flat to show its shape. Shapes include  rectangular, triangular, crescent to circular, with various permutations in between.

My favorites include Nefer, a lovely crescent shaped shawl with nupps, offered in two sizes:

and Girl with the Rose Slippers, a half octagon with different sections, each symbolizing part of the tale:

…and Nefertari, a gorgeous swooping triangular shawl.  Anna is tall and lithesome — she looks stunning in these larger shawls!  I got to see her in it at this past TNNA.  Just gorgeous!

Would you like to win your own PDF copy of  Ancient Egypt in Lace & Color?  Leave a comment on this post with your favorite design (and why!) by midnight, PST October 3rd.

Photos © Caro Sheridan

27 comments… add one
  • XH September 27, 2012, 8:51 am

    I love the pattern Memphis, because it has both simple, clean lines with delicate complex lace at the center. 🙂

  • Debbie H September 27, 2012, 10:21 am

    I love Seth. There’s just something about the geometric shapes that call to me. Thanks!

  • Lilie September 27, 2012, 12:14 pm

    I love Seth for its simple but complicated shape with the different size triangles.

  • Caroline September 27, 2012, 12:28 pm

    Another vote for Seth! I also love the geometrical design of it – most lacey shawls tend to be flowery, so this is a nice contrast.

  • Cindy Ebben September 27, 2012, 12:32 pm

    I’m absolutely in love with Anubis. The crescent shape hugs the one who wears it and the pattern, while simple, conveys sophistication and beauty. One can easily imagine being led by Anubis to the Fields of Malachite when looking at this gorgeous shawl.

  • Carolyn September 27, 2012, 3:12 pm

    Following a trend here 🙂 I love the design Seth! The squares just speak to me and remind me of my favorite paintings by Mondrian. It is just a beautiful and unique shawl design. Although choosing a favorite is very difficult because they are all so beautiful!

  • Fiona September 27, 2012, 3:19 pm

    I particularly like Nefertari for its sheer size and visual impact. Stunning work throughout the book, though!

  • Nicole R September 27, 2012, 3:35 pm

    My favorite is Nefertari. I love the larger size of the shawl, the feather motif is pretty and the yarn is delicious!

  • Destiny September 27, 2012, 3:43 pm

    I love Seth and have from the moment I saw it! I think it is the simplicity of it, and the fact that it is angular.

  • Rita September 27, 2012, 4:15 pm

    Fields of Malachite. It’s clean and simple and green!!! I love green.

  • Caroline September 27, 2012, 4:48 pm

    Going to put in my vote for Osiris. Love the fish pattern and the story of Osiris has always been one of my favourites in Egyptian mythology.

  • Rita September 27, 2012, 4:52 pm

    I think my favorite is Nefetari but they are all stunning.

  • Sheila September 27, 2012, 5:00 pm

    I love Fields of Malachite. It could be that it’s shown in such a lovely shade of green, but I think it’s the curve of the lace motif that I really like.

  • Suzanne September 27, 2012, 5:01 pm

    I want to knit them ALL!!!! Fields of Malachite was the first that I saw, and it took my breath away. Egyptology is a hobby of mine and my daughter’s. It has been interpreted in the patterns beautifully.

  • Analiese September 27, 2012, 5:48 pm

    Love the Thoth shawl but anything Anna designs is gorgeous

  • Rayna September 27, 2012, 6:53 pm

    I like The Girl With The Rose Red Slippers…love the unusual shape…such a lovely change!

  • Jen September 27, 2012, 7:47 pm

    The Girl with the Rose Slippers is just stunning. I just can’t stop staring at it and the story it tells……

  • Jamie September 28, 2012, 2:44 am

    I love Seth and its geometric designs, gorgeous!

  • Lisa September 28, 2012, 5:42 am

    I like the Fields of Malachite but then I have a skien of yarn that reminds me of malachite to should work well.

  • Anne September 28, 2012, 6:26 am

    I really like Nefer – despite the fact I’m not really a “nupp gal”, but I think it would VERY snazzy with beads in place of the nupps.

  • Jean September 28, 2012, 10:18 am

    I really like the shape and patterning of Anubis, and I also love the Osiris shawl.

  • Sharon M2 September 30, 2012, 1:31 pm

    I really like Nefer-I like the more narrow shape, as well as those nupps. Very pretty!

  • Kathi October 1, 2012, 6:46 pm

    My favorite is The Girl With The Rose Slippers. I love that it portrays a story in the panels. It is always fun to be able to show and/or give a shawl to someone and explain not only that it was handknit, but also that the pattern symbolizes a story. It truly makes a shawl unforgettable, not only for the person knitting it, but also for the person receiving the shawl.

  • Melody October 2, 2012, 11:10 am

    I’ve heard rav reviews of this book – I’ve always been enthralled with ancient egypt and especially even more so after watching endless episodes of Ancient Aliens on the History Channel – I’d love a chance to win this book – Thanks Melody

  • Emmy October 4, 2012, 1:47 am

    I love the simple geometry of Seth. But I only tend to use more narrow cresent shaped shawls, and in that cathegory i think Thoth is my favorite.

  • Sue October 23, 2012, 3:12 pm

    Fields of Malachite is my favourite… I love the pattern as it laces in and out of itself and then fades into the body of the shawl… and the story is nice to go with it… “In ancient Egypt, the land of the blessed dead was known as the Fields of Malachite, where conditions were remarkably similar to life on earth, except devoid of illness and other problems. In order to enter the Fields of Malachite, you had to convince Osiris that you were worthy.” The only shawl I’ve done was a lace piece for my niece’s wedding this summer. I would love to win this book – by one of our very own locals in Ottawa! – and then I would finally knit one of these beauties for myself.

  • Laura November 8, 2012, 7:25 am

    I really love Anubis… The shape and the story call to me..

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