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

77 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alice Starmore is a leading knitwear designer and the author of books that include "The Celtic Collection "and "Celtic Needlepoint."

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0918804973
  • ISBN-13: 978-0918804976
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.6 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

156 of 156 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book will lead you through the history of fair isle knitting, designing, pattern and color selection, knitting with two or more colors, steeks, and finishing. Fair isle is magnificent and quite unlike anything else I'd done before. The concept of intricate color patterns done seamlessly with Shetland wool was and is quite appealing. I was able, with this book to become proficient in this marvelous style of knitting, creating a masterpiece my first go-round (pun unintended!). It also includes outstanding patterns. I literally wore out my first copy, the pages finally came loose from the binding and I am now on copy #2. I own quite a few books on knitting but consider this my fair isle reference.
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87 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Karen on July 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This stellar book manages to answer every question I ever had about Fair Isles Knitting, as well as a whole host of questions I hadn't even realized I should have been asking. Profusely illustrated with breathtaking color photographs, this book fills me with the mad inspiration to create every single time I open it. The charted designs are abundant and varied, the technical information is incomparable, and Starmore does an excellent job of making this highly detailed and specialized form of knitting accessible to beginners and experienced knitters alike. If you want to expand your knowledge of stranded multicolor knitting, this book is a MUST HAVE.
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100 of 104 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This one of my favorite knitting books, period. I have been knitting (self-taught) for about 20 years, and I seldom use a any kind of written pattern. I decide on yarn and wearer and just begin making the sweater. So here is were this book comes in: instructions on planning or designing a sweater (wouldnt even have to be one done in Fair Isle style); page after page of Fair Isle design elements arranged by SIZE; and beautiful photo of incredible Shetland yarn color combinations. There are printed project patterns, a nice selection too--I just do that sort of thing. And I also enjoyed the history of Fair Isle style and the possible origin of design elements. I keep returning to this book for the charted Fair Isle elements and color inspiration.
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67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By JW on July 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is a mixed review, not because of the book itself but because of the photo quality of the new edition. I used this book before the reprint came out (borrowed from a friend), and of course it is marvellous. The other reviewers are completely right. However, when I bought the new paperback reissue, I immediately realized that the color photo reproductions are completely off. Instead of the deep rich natural-looking colors of the original book (and Starmore's other books), this reprint has blaring, neon-ish, completely shocking colors. It's as if the printing shifted completely into the orange/yellow/red register and no one in production noticed it.

Maybe this is a glitch that happened on early print runs and has been eliminated. I hope so! Because it really mars an otherwise great re-edition of a knitting classic.

Still a great book, and still worth buying for the text alone. But if you are relying on the new paperback edition to see Starmore's colors, make sure to get an alternate reference. It's completely off.
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37 of 37 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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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Daneman #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you own ONE book on colorwork, this might just be the best choice. While Starmore deals with Fair Isle style knitting only, the techniques are useful for all kinds of knitting design.
In addition to the history of Fair Isle knitting, Starmore explains the use of OXO patterns mixed with "peerie" or bands of small patterns that are mixed with the larger patterns and provide a pleasing rhythm to the design. The fact that only two colors are used per row is hard to believe when you look at how Starmore mixes subtle color changes to yield some amazing results. She also shows the inspiration for the colorways, from a handful of wet sea pebbles, to a moor landscape, to a flea market display of bric-a-brac. You can find colorways all around you once you get an eye for how Starmore looks at the world.
The book has useful charts for OXO and peerie patterns and a section on how to construct classic pullovers, vests and cardigans. This is one of my most favorite knitting books.
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