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Fearless Fair Isle Knitting: 30 Gorgeous Original Sweaters, Socks, Mittens, and More Paperback – February 15, 2011
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About the Author
With over 30 years of knitwear design experience, Kathleen Taylor is the author of the best-selling "The Big Book of Socks," "I ♥ Felt, " and "Knit One, Felt Too "and has published over 500 craft and needlework articles in such magazines as "Spin-Off, Crafts 'N Things, "and "Knitting World." She has designed many knitwear projects exclusively for the Knit Picks yarn company and has appeared on HGTV's Smart Solutions. Check out her blog, Kathleen Taylor's DakotaDreams at http: //kathleendakotadreams.blogspot.com/
Top Customer Reviews
Some of my favorite patterns are The Children's Cardigan in lovely shades of pink and green for a girl in your life. It is for child size 2 through 6. The floppy hat in yellows and oranges is great for ear warming and for fashion, perfect for men and women. The Women's socks are lovely in rose and blue. Though I'm not sure I'd go to the trouble to knit Fair Isle socks, they are beautiful to look at. There are lots of cardigans, mittens, purses, hats, pullover sweaters and even a dress.
When I purchase a knitting book, I ask myself three questions:
Is the book a good resource?
Will I knit the patterns in the book?
Are the patterns clearly written?
The answer to all three questions is 'yes'.
The book is definitely for more advanced knitters but it is beautiful to look at and any knitter will appreciate this. It is reminiscent of Alice Starmore books. I highly recommend it for knitters who have a background already in Fair Isle and want to expand their abilities.
The "Fair Isle Basics" chapter has a wonderful discussion of steek finishing techniques that is illustrated with photographs showing crocheted, hand-sewn, and machine-sewn steeks both before and after cutting. The chapter also discusses a couple of intriguing technical innovations: (1) knitting Fair Isle sleeves two-at-a-time and sewing them in (instead of picking up the sleeve stitches around the armholes in the traditional fashion); and (2) shaping curved necklines after the knitting is off the needles by folding back a facing.
Unfortunately, the "Fair Isle Basics" chapter seems inadequate for novice Fair Isle knitters. For example, the discussion of placement of yarn balls--one color on the chair arm and one color on the lap--doesn't really communicate the need to knit the yarn colors (and floats) with one color always above the other color.Read more ›
There is a Dakota prairie design, with slanted wheat ear motif, star bands, reindeer bands, and some all over designs that you haven't seen before. Even if you don't knit the garments in the book, the charts will be interesting for years to come.
As to the garments, there are toddler clothes, a vest for man, women's cardigans and jackets and a dress. Yes, a dress. Socks, caps, scarves, mitts, a bag complete the 30 items.
I love the colors and the shapes and the charts. This is not your average fair isle book. If you don't own a basic fair isle book, this would not be my first choice to learn that technique of two-color-per-row knitting, but it would be my choice for any avid knitter to add to the library for reference or just the joy of making these beautiful projects.
BUT: there's not actually enough information to guide you through the processes she covers if you've never done them before. For instance, though the introduction is supposedly meant for beginners, she spends no time at all on how to actually handle two yarns. She says she throws her yarn and moves on. How to hold and handle yarn is the single biggest issue beginners at two-color knitting have. Likewise, the information on stranding versus twisting carried yarns is sketchy and not entirely clear. The information on crocheted steeks is good, but the detailed information that would help make her own just-cut-it approach a bit easier to try is not there. She says to use "the widest zigzag stitch" on your machine to overcast the line you plan to cut. Really? Even if it's bigger than the stitches?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Stunning designs! I am knitting my first fair isle sweaters and they are very simple compared to the designs in this book. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Suzanne Elizabeth Anderson
I have found so many inspiring projects in here... I originally saw a pamphlet/booklet with some of these patterns in here, but when I found the actual book, I bought it... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jon Emery
Clear instructions make the learning process easier and the patterns are very appealling.Published 20 months ago by Lydia E. Cleator
I have wanted to buy this beautiful book for years. The pictures are inspirational, and the patterns are just difficult enough to be challenging but attainable. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Sara Scott
A really colorful book with interesting designs. A bit too colorful for me as I like to keep my fairisle designs contained in the bottom of my garments and sleeves, but lots of... Read morePublished on March 15, 2014 by Maureen
Another of the specialty books on Fair Isle knitting that is a must have for a knitter's library. Love the hoodie.Published on September 4, 2013 by Grandma
The book is good for beginning and experienced knitters. It also covers from the history of the country and origin of these patterns to the detailed patterns fallow to do own... Read morePublished on February 3, 2013 by Calif reader
Great book of 30 items. Most are in fingering wool and a couple in worsted. Although with a bit of chart work most can be converted to worsted, less pattern repeats and naturally... Read morePublished on October 22, 2012 by Bodicia
(Full disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from Taunton Press.)
As the title suggests, this book is specifically about the stranded colorwork technique... Read more