Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Very Easy Guide to Fair Isle Knitting by Lynne Watterson

As any of my regular readers already know, I am an avid knitter.
I LOVE to knit and last year I stretched my skills (quite a bit) and tried my first Fair Isle project, a cardigan (it's the one I'm wearing in my profile pic btw). ;<)
Although I did find this project a bit of challenge (including trying to decipher a couple of things in the pattern that didn't make sense) I have been "itching" to try another Fair Isle project since then.
What a beautiful book this is.  And it certainly has provided the inspiration for several Fair Isle projects that I'd love to make, including:
Isn't this a gorgeous tote bag?
And for any of you wannabe Fair Isle knitters out there, this would be an easy project to make.
 I've read over the instructions a couple of times already and it would definitely be a good first and/or beginners project for Fair Isle knitting.
Wowsa! I want this set too!!!
I LOVE heart motifs and this hat and scarf set caught my attention right away.
 A bit more of a challenge but even for a newbie FI knitter like myself, definitely doable.
These lovely legwarmers are a bit more challenging.
But doable for an advanced beginner.
From the Amazon product page:
Fair Isle knitting may look complicated, but knitting expert Lynne Watterson lays out the basics in a way that is easy to follow and understand. She starts with an overview that covers everything from the best types of yarn suitable for Fair Isle patterns to beginner knitting techniques. Also included is a primer on how to read Fair Isle charts, plus an illustrated step-by-step guide to Fair Isle knitting showing complete beginners how to hold the yarns, strand across the back of knitting, link colors in, and how to weave in ends.

The main chapters feature a selection of beautiful Fair Isle stitch patterns. Each pattern contains clear instructions in both written and chart form, and these are cross-referenced to a comprehensive guide to abbreviations. A variety of simple, stylish projects included in each chapter demonstrates ways to use the beautifully shaded Fair Isle patterns—from chic accessories and the latest fashion looks to colorful cushion covers and cozy blankets. Bonus material offers a variety of stunning finishing touches that can be used to enhance your knitting—including beads, buttons, tassels, cords, fringe, and more.
One of the (many) things I like about this book is that the author included projects for a range of skill levels. So many Fair Isle books I look at focus on patterns that may be OK for someone with Intermediate or Advanced skills, but nothing that a Beginner or Advanced Beginner could actually make and enjoy making. I like a challenge when I'm knitting but not to the point of being frustrated with every stitch. What fun is that?
In addition to the 11 projects included in this book, there are 28 easy to follow lessons throughout that even beginners would find easy to follow. The diagrams in this book are excellent too and that's something that's lacking in so many knitting books. And when you're stuck on a particular technique, good diagrams can be a knitter's lifesaver!
Other patterns in this book include: a child's cardigan, child's hoodie, adult fingerless mitts, hot water bottle cover, mug cozies, home décor items and more.
This book would also be a great gift for the knitters on your list. Maybe they've also been tempted to try Fair Isle knitting but were too intimidated by difficult patterns and hard to understand instructions, to give it a try. This is a great knitting book to change all that.
The Very Easy Guide to Fair Isle Knitting is a visually stunning book. There are full-page color photos of each project throughout the 144 pages. The other pages include charts, diagrams...also in color, adding to the appeal and enjoyment of this book.
I'll keep you posted on my progress as I work on these projects. Now all I need is some yarn to get started! ;<)
Overall rating for this book: Excellent. 5 out of 5.


  1. Replies
    1. Me too! :<) You might want to check out this book Ruinwen, I think you'd love it! I know you like Fair Isle.

  2. Those are really lovely patterns...did you use one of them for your gorgeous sweater?


    1. I agree. Have you given knitting a try Jen, I can't remember if you were just learning or not, right now.

      No, my cardigan is from a Stitch and Bitch book. Thanks for your kind words. I'm kind of fond of that sweater too. ;<)

  3. Sounds like a great book and these patterns you've shown are very nice. It is frustrating when you can't follow instructions for a project of any kind, if they are too hard to understand or incorrect. I agree.

    1. It is a great knitting book and I've looked at a LOT of knitting books over the years. And I couldn't agree more about poor or too complicated instructions. Not fun at all, just frustrating. :<(

  4. wow...the pics of what you can make are gorgeous...the color fade in the tote is pretty amazing...knitting is def art and turns our some beautiful stuff...

    1. I agree Brian, Fair Isle can create works of art. It really is a beautiful knitting technique and not really as hard as some people think it is. At least with books like these, it doesn't have to be. ;<)

  5. Those look like some super-warm socks!!

    1. I'm not replying to anyone I just don't see comments, I clicked funny because to me it's funny, I wish It was something I could do 'cause it's so beautiful, and it must take you away and enjoy the beauty you create I tried I tried seriously I'm all hands, the only thing I can do right is work which I can't anymore and take photos 'cause it requires no concentration...seems I can't learn something new, I can"t concentrate enough to get through anything one of the downfall of those pills i need to take. No concentration. I can barely read a book, or write anymore....I truly wish I could learn again,and I'm happy for you that you can create these truly wonderful garments, and bags and leg's wonderful and I am truly happy that you have all those talents :)

  6. Keith, I agree. So pretty too!

    Lorraine, Weird about the comment option not showing up. I haven't actually made any of these projects YET but do plan to make the scarf and hat for sure, maybe the tote too. I love them all!

    Knitting is a wonderful way to relax, I know a lot of people including myself who knit when they are super stressed. If I'm not creating something,I'm not happy. It really helps, in so many ways.

    Thanks for your kind words.

    Happy Week to Everyone, G


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