Fair Isle

fairisle_scarf_cropped

We  love Fair Isle so much that we design some for the collection every single year! Above is our 2014/15 Fair Isle Fringe Scarf in charcoal.

The distinctively patterned knitwear has been hand made for generations on the remote island of Fair Isle, part of the Shetland Isles in the far north of Scotland.
It became very popular in the 1920’s when the Prince of Wales wore Fair Isle tank tops in public.
Traditional patterns have a limited palette of five or so colours, use only two colours per row, and are worked ‘in the round’.

fairisle_machine

Our mill in Scotland has computer controlled machines which knit up our designs in a tube shape, just as traditional hand knitters would make, but much, much faster.
These machines above are unique to the U.K.

Speaking of speed, the worlds fastest hand knitter, Hazel Tindall is from the Shetland Islands and is an expert Fair Isle knitter, see her website HERE.

If you are interested in Fair Isle and Scottish knitwear, here are some links to sites we like:

TomofHolland – The Visible Mending Programme: Making and Re-Making

Shetland Textile Museum

Shetland Wool Week 4-12 October

The Art Of Fair Isle Knitting: History, Technique, Color and Pattern