Saturday, November 7, 2009

F is for Fair Isle

Fair Isle is a specific kind of stranded knitting. It traditionally has only about five colors and only uses two per row. It gets its name from the southernmost of the Shetland Islands, north of Scotland. Real Fair Isle patterns come from there.

-rant on-
Fair Isle is NOT:

  • every kind of stranded knitting. It's one specific kind, with only two, count 'em, two, colors per row.
  • any kind of stranded pattern that has two colors per row. If you've charted out a tribute to your favorite tv show or video game that manages to only use two colors per row, good for you. It's probably really cute, but it is NOT Fair Isle. Fair Isle patterns tend to look geometric, not like space invaders.
  • a sweater from Target or Old Navy with traditional-looking patterns and two colors per row in shades of bright green or purple.

This is Faux Isle because it is ramie/cotton blend and not wool. Other hints are that the colors are not correct, the pattern may or may not be traditional (it came from China, not Scotland), and yours truly bought it at the SuperTarget on Highway 92.
-rant off-

Carry on.

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