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Alice Starmore's Charts for Color Knitting: New and Expanded Edition (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) Paperback – September 22, 2011


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Frequently Bought Together

Alice Starmore's Charts for Color Knitting: New and Expanded Edition (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) + Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace)
Price for both: $33.83

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; New edition, Expanded edition (September 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486484637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486484631
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

An acclaimed textile designer, author, artist, and photographer, Alice Starmore is a native of Scotland's Isle of Lewis. Starmore has taught and lectured extensively throughout Britain, Europe, and the United States. She has written 16 books and countless magazine articles, and her classic Book of Fair Isle Knitting is the work that introduced Americans to the popular traditional technique.

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.


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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For fans of Fair Isle or colorwork, this book is a MUST HAVE!!!
Dinsdale5
This book really does give you lots of ideas and color charts I have used several ideas in my current project and plan to use many more.
Coral Keller
This book of patterns is one I highly recommend for anyone who loves colorwork.
Joanna Daneman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book has recently been put back in print; the previous edition was so coveted and scarce that copies were extremely hard to come by and very expensive to buy used. Why is a book of 125 pages of black and white charts so desirable? First, it's put together by that master of Fair Isle (two color per row knitting), Alice Starmore, who is known for her exquisite colorwork interpretations of traditional Fair Isle knits. Her books are treasured around the world.

If you like to knit, you may be the sort that branches out from recipe-patterns and adapts them to your own tastes, or you may be a designer who starts from scratch or nearly from scratch and wants a source of two color patterns to blend into a knitted design.

The patterns run from the traditional geometric OXO Fair Isle with "Peeries" or the smaller, narrow bands with small stitch repeats, going only up a few rows. These are traditionally put between bands of the larger OXO. There are also patterns derived from nature: flowers, birds, berries. Of course, there are pictures of finished work to give you inspiration or just for the joy of their beauty.

In particular, if you are an aficionado of colorwork, there are patterns that are derived from various cultures such as the Peruvian motifs and my personal favorite, the geometric designs of the Komi, Sami, Latvian, Estonian and other northern peoples from Eastern Europe and Western Asia. These designs are particularly interesting as they take advantage of a peculiarity of stockinette (flat) knitting done either circularly (all knit) or knit-purl flat knitting. In this case, the stitch to row ratio is 5:7 meaning if you do five rows, it takes seven of them to make a square bit of knitting.
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41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Megan Ellinger VINE VOICE on September 30, 2011
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This is an amazing reference for an advanced knitter familiar with basic sweater construction and colorwork.

The first 25ish pages cover a few potential colorwork layouts (allover patterns, horizontal bands, center panel, etc) but does not provide any in-depth instructions for specific patterns or the actual technique of two-color knitting.

The bulk of the book is about 125 pages of crystal clear black and white charts that resemble those on the bottom half of the cover of the book (with slightly smaller squares). They range from basic to amazingly complex large repeat patterns. They are arranged by country of origin then a few random categories (birds and flowers, etc) at the end. The last few pages of the book is pure eye-candy. Gorgeous examples of colorwork sweaters that come directly from the charts included in the book.

I highly recommend this to anyone who is ready to tackle a colorwork project. If you are not familiar with construction techniques, you'll also want a guide on construction of garments (any of Elizabeth Zimmermann's books would serve you well here) to accompany this reference.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Laura E. Lindler on October 3, 2011
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I am so thrilled that this book has been reprinted! I love it. This book is meant to guide a knitter in developing patterns for sweaters including color-work motifs. Alice Starmores's books and patterns are magical, especially this one. What could be better than being able to knit a sweater that fits and having all the motifs you want wotking out perfectly?
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Mother of Sons on November 16, 2011
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After just a day or two of knitting from a chart in the book (with clean hands,) the ink on the page I was knitting from started to smudge and blur where I had touched the chart (counting stitches.) From now on I shall make a photo copy of any chart I might want to knit from this book. I have not had this problem with any other knitting book ever.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Julie N. on December 13, 2011
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Finally, a knitting book that assumes I know how to knit. No wasted pages of instruction, instead it gets down to business with page after page of wonderful charts. I love this book. Next time the fair isle bug bites, I'll be ready.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By m in vermont on December 5, 2011
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I wish it had the charts on knitters graph paper and I wish there were stitch and row counts. Other than that it's a wonderful inspirational resource.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By nanetteb on February 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm passionate about stranded color knitting and I'm pretty sure I own all the books that focus on charts of colorwork designs. So when the reprint of this book arrived I thought it would have some of the usual designs that are in most books - the Nordic snowflakes and dancing people, the Fair Isle Xs and Os, the bean blossom pattern, etc. Yes, those charts are in this book but there are so many charts in here I've never seen before. There are charts from Greece, the Caucuses, and the Middle East and I've already filled this book with notes on charts I want to use. I also love the back section that shows some of the charts knitted up. The only flaw as previously noted in the reviews is the lack of stitch and row counts for the charts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By maquetas romero on October 29, 2012
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It's a good book to have, but will require some study.
I wish it had a few more full sweater patterns worked out in several sizes and, more color and, above all, clearer explanations as to pattern setting and sizing.
I think Ms. Starmore is such an expert she maybe doesn't realize many of her readers do not have here level of expertise and need to be guided in a more step by step manner.
In any case, I'm happy I bought it, and would recommend it if you have the level to desing your own sweaters and do not need a detailed pattern to follow when knitting.
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