The Art of Fair Isle Knitting: History, Technique, Color & Patterns
by Ann Feitelson
ISBN 13: 9781883010201
ISBN 10: 1883010209
Interweave Press, 1996.
Crafted with the precision of a Fair Isle garment,
informed by accounts from the knitters themselves, and set firmly
within its historical and sociological roots, The Art of Fair Isle Knitting
takes you to the heart of this knitting tradition.
From the first small items sold to fishermen and tourists in the
nineteenth century to the highly fashionable androgynous
sweaters of the 1920s, to the large starry Norwegian
patterns popular after World War II, to the hand-
and machine-made yoked sweaters of the 1960s and 1970s,
Ann Feitelson appplies ardent dedication to her research.
She leads readers through the history of Fair Isle knitting
to an examination of the style's techniques, explicating not
only the unique colorways and patterns, but such valuable
details as ways to hold the yarn.
An accomplished knitter herself, Feitelson presents
twenty-three original Fair Isle designs, and encourages
readers to create their own. A chapter on math is both easy
to follow and invaluable for planning sizes and patterns,
while a glossary of Shetland knitting terms links a way
of life that is largely gone with the knowledge and skills
that The Art of Fair Isle Knitting helps to preserve.
Throughout these wonderful colors and glowing patterns,
The Art of Fair Isle Knitting conveys and undending sense of pride.
Pride in the dedication of Shetland knitters. Pride in the creation of
exceptional garments. Pride in the work of women. Pride in a knitting
style known throughout the world.
Ann Feitelson is uniquely qualified to bring the art of Fair Isle
knitting to life. A frequent visitor to the Shetland islands where
she has gained an intimate understanding of Fair Isle knitting, its
history and practitioners, Feitelson holds a B.A. from Middlebury
College, an M.F.A. in painting from Tyler School of Art, Temple University,
and an M.A. in Art history from the University of Massachusetts.
She has taught at Hollins College and Syracuse University and has
conducted Fair Isle knitting workshops in Massachusetts where she
She has contributed numerous articles on the arts to local
publications, and her work has been published in Knitter's
Magazine and Interweave Knits.
Interweave has graciously published corrections online: