4 Questions with Alice Starmore: An Exclusive Dover Interview
Alice Starmore has a fascinating tale to tell. We spoke to the author of the #1 crafts bestseller Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting about her knitting background, professional start, and more.
Clearly, knitting is a deeply ingrained facet of the culture of Scotland's Outer Hebrides. Did your mother teach you to knit?
My mother taught me to knit when I was very young. She was a dressmaker as well as a knitter and our house was a place of constant creativity. I was also born at a time when most women knitted as a matter of course, and I had three aunts who had been fisher girls in their youth and were experts at making traditional fishermen's gansies.
I understand that your first language is Gaelic — do you still speak it?
Yes I still speak Gaelic. The Isle of Lewis, where I live, is in the Outer Hebrides — the heartland of Gaelic and the only place where you will hear the language in everyday use.
How did you get your start professionally?
I designed a small collection of knitwear in 1975 and successfully sold it in London boutiques. It was featured in a national newspaper and from that small beginning my knitting career evolved in ways that were quite unimaginable to me when I began.
Your books are known and loved around the world, and you've adapted design elements from the textile arts of many countries into your repertoire. Are you still discovering "new" aspects of knitting and fabric arts from other cultures?
I am interested in everything. I find inspiration in all aspects of the world around me. There is enough inspiration in the natural world on my doorstep to last many lifetimes. I am also inspired by art, culture, history, science and music. My own culture features widely in my design work but I have always been interested in other cultures and in other places. My main problem is that I cannot possibly live long enough to produce work from the amount of ideas that come into my head.
Alice Starmore is a master from the past and is leading us into the future and beyond... This is another book that needs to be in every serious color knitting library.Published 12 hours ago by spice1217
This is the "New and Expanded Edition" and well worth the money. I've long admired Alice Starmore for her ability to provide her unique vision of gradient color, as well as... Read morePublished 1 month ago by luciamia
Excellent reference book for the advanced skills knitter.
Create your own patterns with multiple color strands of yarn using these grid patterns.
Enjoy. Read more
Only difference to the first edition is pictures of some sweaters, NO new graphed patterns.Published 3 months ago by Elaine Almquist
These books are full of beautiful knitting designs. I've been a knitter for a long time, and I've never seen such elegant, artistic designs for knitting. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Nancy H. Doyle