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October 2, 2007

Fair Isle For Fall (pom-poms for the lucky.)

Ah, October. The time of the year when the air is crisp and fall arrives and we all want to be bundled up in sweaters and cute winter clothes that hide all manner of sins including 42,000 calories in wine ... oh except, yeah, it's still over ninety degrees. Nevermind.

Allison called me from Old Navy last week to inform me that every scarf on display in the store was either covered in pom poms or knitted in Fair Isle or both. She knows I am weirdly fascinated by trends in retail, I just love knowing what people are marketing from season to season. It's one of my little oddities.

So while I was at the mall returning something this past weekend, I made a stop at Old Navy to take a look myself and yes ... it is a pompom, Fair Isle world in retail scarfage this year:

oldnavy-scarves.jpg
And some place, somewhere, it is cold enough to wear a real scarf...

Lately I've been thinking of trying my hand at some intarsia, but Fair Isle looks so pretty and cheerful and frankly perhaps more do-able, as I have no problem stranding yarn (I don't think I have the dexterity to hold the yarn in different hands. Because ... you know... which hand holds the wineglass?)

About a week ago I got a book in the mail called Inspired Fair Isle Knits: 20 Creative Designs Inspired by the Elements so I pulled it out to check out the patterns inside and found this one that I just love:

fairisle-cute-kid-sweater.jpg

Isn't it the cutest kid sweater ever? There are also two great "I am an ADD-knitter and need small projects" patterns in the book, one is a pillow and one features a scarf in pretty reds and oranges, my favorite combo:

fairisle-scarf.jpg

I liked that the charts in this book are big enough that you don't have to enlarge them a bazillion times on the photocopier at work (because that's always awkward when your boss walks by, "Hi! Don't mind me! Just photocopying for knitting!") The patterns seem pretty straightforward and cover a pretty big range of skillsets, and best of all the author promises that each pattern is made using no more than two colors of yarn in any row. Since the book isn't intended only to teach Fair Isle as a technique, there isn't any super-detailed instruction on holding the yarn, pictures of stranding and so on (although truth be told I might be the only person who needs that level of detail.) And of course while the authoress herself doesn't mention it, pompoms do go great with Fair Isle! And you know I love me some pompoms.

Since this was a review copy, I'm giving it away to the first person who actually really wants a FAIR ISLE book... and posts in the comments. Good luck!

Posted by laurie at October 2, 2007 6:40 AM