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.
This book is really for intermediate to advanced knitters. I love the styles, however most sweaters are S, M and L sizing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Colorado Gal
I love doing ARAN knitting and this is a big help. Thank youPublished 2 months ago by Selma I. Perlmutter
I enjoy looking at the gorgeous sweaters in this book, and one day will knit one of them, I'm sure. The patterns are challenging which I like, and up to date. Read morePublished 2 months ago by L. Padula
This book is one of the very best knitting books I have seen! I will use it and love it as I do "Knitting Without Tears" and everything by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Planet Marcel
Love this book enough to buy three copies. An awesome resource with great patterns for Aran knittingPublished 2 months ago by Theresa Boshoff
Gorgeous book! Very informative historically as well as technically. Great patterns and photos.Published 2 months ago by Gale Schroeder
Just published a blog post review on this book. Picture of finished, and semi-finished items included. Check it out! Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jennifer A. Riley
I love Alice Starmore. I find the directions clear and easy to follow. The patterns are beautiful.Published 5 months ago by vicali