The Art of Fair Isle Knitting: History, Technique, Color & Patterns

by Ann Feitelson

Hardcover, 1996






Crafted with the precision of a Fair Isle garment, informed by accounts from the knitters themselves, and set firmly within its historical and sociological roots, this magnificent classic, first published in 1997, explores the heart of the knitting tradition from the tiny island north of Scotland. From the first small knitted items sold to fishermen and tourists in the 19th century and the highly fashionable androgynous sweaters of the 1920s to the large, starry Norwegian patterns popular after World War II and the hand- and machine-made yoked sweaters of the 1960s and 1970s, ardent dedication is applied to researching the history of each subject. Presenting 23 original Fair Isle designs, the guide leads knitters through the history of the Fair Isle knitting tradition in this examination of the style's techniques, explicating not only the unique colorways and patterns but also such valuable details as ways to hold the yarn. A chapter on calculating accurate sizes and patterns is easy to understand, while a glossary of Shetland knitting terms links a nearly-extinct way of life with the knowledge and skills that this volume hopes to preserve for generations of knitters to come. Conveying an unending sense of pride in the dedication of the Shetland knitters and in the creation of exceptional garments, knitters will be further enriched by journey's end.… (more)


Interweave (1996), Edition: 1st, 184 pages

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User reviews

LibraryThing member RochesterKnittingGui
Knit colorful hats, gloves, and sweaters in the Shetland tradition.
This book is a classic. Ms. Feitelson starts off by laying out the history of Fair Isle knitting and progresses to technique and color theory. The patterns that she provided are beautiful in terms of fit and silhouette, not to
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mention color choices and pattern designs. I have knitted a few Fair Isle articles and I wish I had bought this book first before knitting my caps and socks. This book is a must-have for anybody wishing to embark on the wonderful journey of Fair Isle and Shetland knitting.
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