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Book Review: 200 Fair Isle Designs by Mary Mucklestone fairisle Full view

Book Review: 200 Fair Isle Designs by Mary Mucklestone

200 Fair Isle Designs: Knitting Charts, Combination Designs, and Colour Variations, by Mary Mucklestone

200 Fair Isle Designs: Knitting Charts, Combination Designs, and Colour Variations

A couple of years ago I had a hankering to make my own Fair Isle sweater, but when I trawled the knitting shops and department stores I found very little selection available or was told that Fair Isle was not ‘on trend’. I think I was just ahead of the curve actually because a year later this book appeared, and a good friend bought me it for Christmas in 2011.

I found this a superb guide to Fair Isle knitting, in that it clearly describes the techniques and supplies a directory of Fair Isle motifs indexed by stitch numbers and rows enabling one to source and create unique combinations and designs simply. Be inspired to dive in at the deep end and mix and match the patterns until you find something that suits. Experiment quickly by translating the patterns on to a computer and see how the colour changes can enhance a design; an absorbing undertaking in its own right.

The narrative of the book takes you through the various construction techniques, and I’m building towards getting the courage to cut into knitting in the round and picking up stitches to knit sleeves downwards! Once you understand the principles involved moving into the realm of your patterns becomes an irresistible move. Fair Isle certainly is on trend.

Dr Mark Fisher is Significant Seams’s Business Development Director, and something of a crafting renaissance man. He tweets over at @Fish_Knits.

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