A Fair Guide to Fair Isle Knitting
By Lynne Watterson
St. Martin’s Griffin, $22.99, 144 pages
Sooner or later, most knitters will decide to try a colorwork project. Many will choose to do a beautiful type of color-pattern knitting called ‘Fair Isle,’ named after a small island off the northeast coast of Scotland. Generally knit in the round with alternating large motif bands of color and small patterns (or ‘peeries’) interspersed throughout the work, a traditional pattern uses no more than two colors in one row. Several methods for carrying yarn over stitches are given in this nicely illustrated guide and the numerous stitch patterns are clearly charted and written. Although the instructions are easy to follow, Fair Isle knitting can be difficult to master and will require some practice to successfully complete a project. The book is made up of 28 lessons, ranging from knitting basics to more advanced topics, like finishing seams and adding buttons. Eleven nicely-designed small projects, including two children’s sweaters, pillows for the home, and a woman’s hat, scarf and leg-warmers, accompany four of the lessons. A good starting point for knitters wanting to add color patterning to their repertoire.
Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen