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(Book of) Fair Isle Knitting
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To describe Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting as comprehensive is an understatement! Book of Fair Isle Knitting is an essential reference book for a knitter who is interested in stranded colorwork. This book was originally published in 1988, went out of print and was recently republished so this author's knitting expertise can be available to knitters again.
The book begins with a comprehensive history of knitting in the Shetland Isles, and how closely knitting production was linked to the economy of the region. She also explores origins of traditional Fair Isle motifs (large, peeries, borders, seeding, waves and peaks, Norwegian stars, and allover patterns) and explains how they fit together. As the author explains, “In Fair Isle knitting, there is only one absolute rule about the use of color: No more than two colors—a pattern and a background color—are ever used in any one row.” Beyond that, there are infinite possibilities for color combinations - from photographs of natural scenery to a semi truck - along with stunning Fair Isle swatches inspired by the photographs.
There are also excellent tutorials for Fair Isle techniques, such as color dominance, how to hold multiple strands of yarn, and steeking. Included are 12 of the author's own Fair Isle sweater designs, but after reading this book, you will be inspired to design a Fair Isle sweater of your own!
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