A Feast of Fair Isle and Colourwork posts to come.

Sorry for the huge hiatus I took from blogging. It’s rather dull scanning whole magazines and I sort of burnt out and wanted to spend more time making things. It’s much easier to scan single knitting patterns, so I thought I’d get more of my collection of individual patterns online and in a more systematic way. I’m going with a fair- isle and colourwork theme first, because I had a massive envy over someone’s vintage jumper recently and decided I need to knit myself one and that I probably already own the perfect pattern for it.

Fair-Isle first came into fashion in the 1920’s and 1930’s, were popular again in the 1940s as a way of using up scraps during the make do and mend war years. Years before anyone talked about vintage, people in the 1970s were looking backwards for new fashions, and 1920s style Oxford bags (a type of trouser) and fair isle sleeveless pullovers came back in – see the great recent film Northern Soul for this style.

I love this look from Lee Bender’s Bus Stop  (and thanks to the Vintage-a-peel blog for introducing me to this brand and for all the magazine scans I’ve pinterested from this site) – it’s perfect 70s does 40s.

My love of 70s fashion hasn’t been mentioned before, perhaps it’s a shameful secret in the world of vintage to love a decade with some really bad fashions. Have a look at my massive Pinterest 70s board for a more chic, Vogue and Biba version of this misunderstood decade.

The book to have on Fair Isle knitting is Alice Starmore’s Book Of Fair Isle Knitting (this is according to veteran knitters I asked at the Prick Your Finger yarn shop in Bethnal Green). It covers the history of the island’s and their knitting, has charts for lots of designs, 250 photos and illustrations and  a few hilariously dated patterns from the 1980s in the second half of the book. It’s pricey but the whole front half of the book teaches methods for knitting fair isle and how to design your own. Click the picture link to see this book on Amazon.


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