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Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting Hardcover – Oct 1 1988


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press; Reprint edition (Oct. 1 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0918804973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0918804976
  • Product Dimensions: 28.2 x 22.1 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 930 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #548,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "the-pattern-place" on May 3 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a must have, well worth the price. First it takes you through the history of Fair Isle and The Shetland Islands so beautifully you feel like you are there, or wish you were! The next chapter has a good selection of easy to follow charts. They go from basic through to complex, which you can mix and match for your own unique designs. Then she discusses colour schemes; each jumper has a photo of the scenery that inspired the colours, to bring you inspiration. Next are techniques. She has simple diagrams that are easy to understand, showing all the techniques you need to knit fairisle. Her instructions were so simple I have now decided to knit on 4 needles! I have also learnt continental style knitting, as this technique is a much easier way of Fairisle knitting. Other techniques include steeks (making cardigans by knitting in round); knitting up stitches, corrugated ribbing, stranded knitting and lots more. Then there are 14 of her divine patterns to knit. The last section is design she walks you through instructions of knitting your own cap, tammy and gansey. I wouldn't part with my copy for all the tea in china!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 9 1998
Format: Hardcover
Alice Starmore's phenominal study of Fair Isle knitting provided me with everything I want to know about it: history; common designs used in Fair Isle knitting; great patterns; enough help for me to learn the techniques of manipulating two yarns at the same time; enough guidance for me to design my own patterns; and beautiful, inspiring color pictures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hayley Cann TOP 100 REVIEWER on Nov. 24 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have mentioned this is a very complete approach to Fair Isle and is definitely geared towards those knitters who want to understand the origins and the how-to behind fair isle knitting. The author is an expert, many of her books have been knitting best-sellers who have inspired a following of enthusiasts.

And she does not disappoint. The book starts with a history of Shetland and the Fair Isle with an almost anthropological level of detail but a focus on yarn and knitting. The author discusses how the designs came into existence and how they progressed along the years with illustrated examples. The transition into the pattern section is smooth, because the discussion on design and patterns simply evolves from a more sociological point of view to a more technical one. But it does so in a degree of detail that is rarely attained in knitting books. Rarely will you have a superstar designer like Starmore explain just what the rules are and what constitutes a good design. Not only that but the book diagrams a lot of "building block" elements like peeries and border patterns. Then there are discussions on how to combine building blocks and how to go further. The descriptive work itself is the kind of information that it would take years to gather from many, many diverse sources, and has enough comments from the author to make the book worthwhile to textile experts.

The color section comes with a discussion on colour use, and illustrations as examples for the discussion. There are also photographs of natural inspiration and the designs they inspired, meant to nudge the fledgling designer in the right direction. The technical section concerns itself with the general direction of knitting a traditional fair isle sweater, in the round with steeking.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. Watts on Oct. 22 2009
Format: Paperback
For me, as a young (think late 20's, not teens!) but experienced knitter, this book was something of a mixed blessing. Anyone looking for a detailed history of the Fair Isle technique, multitudes of traditionally-based charts, and a guide to colour selection, this book is a must-have. But I have yet to make any of the projects featured in this book. The information on technique presented here is invaluable but the projects that go with them look extremely dated. There is a gorgeous hat and mittens, but anyone looking to make a Fair Isle sweater would probably do better adapting the charts in this book to their own pattern(s). Unfortunately, the projects don't look antique so much as...1980's.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant book with loads of good advice and instruction, many charts as well. It arrived promptly, in excellent condition. I am very Happy with the service offered
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