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Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) Paperback – 30 Oct 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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  • Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace)
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  • Charts for Color Knitting (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace)
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  • 200 Fair Isle Designs: Knitting Charts, Combination Designs, and Colour Variations
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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.; Green ed. edition (30 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486472183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486472188
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 21 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

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.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you want to begin Fairisle knitting (or, like me, are a knitter of many years standing) this is the only book you'll need. Full of stimulating pictures, fascintaing text and excellent charts, it's more than just a 'how to' for reading a Fairisle pattern, it's also a wonderful design source book.

I strongly suspect this book will become worn out quickly here!
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Format: Paperback
As a long established fair isle knitter I found this book well written, well laid out and very instructive.
The patterns were beautiful and the history very interesting. Knitting on circular needles was unknown to me.
The methodology to make original designs to suit your needs was excellent. A great buy at a great price.
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Format: Hardcover
Alice Starmore is a fine artist and the designs are lovely, but this book is let down by poor pattern editing. I am an experienced knitter and undertook the child's cardigan set for a girl, in the course of which I found errors in the yarn quantities (far too little of one colour necessitating reordering half way through), in the chart for the beret and also in the main directions, as well as some weird and unnecessary awkwardnesses in the shaping. Had I not had the experience to spot and adjust for the errors I would probably have abandoned the project in despair.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I liked the pattern and colours of the cover... Only to find out that if I wanted to do this project I had to purchase the pattern from the author's website!! As someone mentioned before, the projects in the book are outdated (baggy 80's) and instructions are only useful if your gauge is the same as the author... No measurements - only number of stitches and number of rows. I found the history of Fair Isle knitting very interesting. The book contains a good pattern library and the explanation of the Fair Isle technique is clear. There are other Fair Isle knitting books with the same clear instructions on the technique and good pattern libraries but at least they have nice and varied projects.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Why, of why doesn't this type of book come in a spiral binding. The content of the book is fascinating, and the patterns lovely (once you've mastered the measuring system of creating your own patterns) but for actual physical use of the book, i.e. reading a pattern, the print is so close to the inner binding you need to squash the book fully open in order to read it. The spine will quickly become damaged if you make as much use of the book as I'm sure most people will.

All that aside, I think this book is an absolute requirement for anybody looking to extend their knowledge of Fair Isle knitting, especially creating your own garment patterns. I know most of the content can be gleaned from the internet but there is so much pleasure to be gained from holding and reading a book. Alice Starmore's style is relaxed and very much 'you can do' so that even though at first glance the drawings look rather daunting don't let that deter you - they are quite straight forward and very clearly explained by the author.

It is easy to see why this book has become a classic.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book about Fair Isle knitting. It has a fascinating history of the Fair Isle techniques and the lifestyle of the early knitters. There are many traditional pattern motifs and colour theory as it relates to Fair Isle. It has clear instructions on all the techniques required to knit traditional Fairisle patterns, including circular knitting, steeks, grafts, increasing, decreasing and finishing. For those who like to work from a commercial pattern there is a wonderful selection of designs to tempt you to have a go.
This is much more than just a collection of patterns, it's a knitters dream.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a fair-isle knitter of many years, and as I bought this book as a gift, it has a lot of useful information, but I think the presentations of patterns somewhat confusing. I am sure the person who was given this as a gift, will give me feed back, as they are also fair isle knitters for many years. I am not sure whether I would recomend this book to a friend though.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well worth the money if you have a passion for this form of knitting loads of information including history, technics, colour mixes, and lots of stunning patterns. I am a reasonably experienced knitter but have learnt more from this book which is truly an inspirational.
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