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of Fair Isle Knitting
published in 1988, and out of print for a few years, Alice
Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting was updated and re-issued
in 2009 by Dover Publications. This comprehensive collection
of patterns and techniques offers unlimited inspiration.
begins with a bit of history about the Fair Isles and the
hardy inhabitants who developed this style of knitting.
Beautiful photographs enhance the introduction. She delves
into theories of symbolism and design origins, and offers
her own opinion of how patterns developed.
a pattern to be considered true Fair Isle, it must meet
two requirements. First, there must be just 2 colors used
in each row and they must interchange frequently, with unused
color stranding across the back, at intervals of not more
than 7 stitches. If longer runs occur in the pattern, the
stranded yarn must be caught up to avoid long floats. The
second requirement is for the pattern to contain diagonal
lines. Tension is created where the yarn color changes occur,
and diagonal lines distribute the tension on successive
rows by shifting the changes. This allows the fabric to
remain elastic. Additionally, most Fair Isle patterns have
an odd number of rows and are symmetrical.
presents 32 pages of pattern graphs which can be used singly,
or in combinations, to produce an endless variety of designs.
Color is an essential element of Fair Isle , and patterns
of background and design colors are illustrated in charts
and photographs. Knitters are encouraged to swatch with
a broad spectrum of colors.
technique chapter covers stranded knitting in the round,
weaving in strands, and how to knit with one color in each
hand. There are detailed instructions for steeking and grafting.
Wardrobe of Patterns has instructions for knitting nine
sweaters of various styles, two vests, a tam, mittens and
gloves. The last chapter is devoted to creating your own
design. Starmore takes the process step by step from design
idea to working pattern, employing measurements, gauge,
and some knitter's mathematics to get all the designs in
A Fair Isle sweater
is my ultimate knitting challenge, and I know I'll consult
Alice Starmore when I begin the journey.
by Karen Fogle
this book from Amazon.com
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