The Fair-Isle Jumper, by Stanley Cursiter, 1923.
Sir Henry Lander's painting of the Prince of Wales, 1922.
Girl in Fair Isle pullover, 1930s.
Jessie Rattar holding a bird chick.
Man and woman on Norton motorcycle. Woman wearing allover Fair Isle jumper.
Woman, wearing Fair Isle patterned tunic style jumper with OXO patterning.
Most of these images are from the Shetland Museum's Archives.
I love pattern.
No really. I truly, profoundly love pattern. I find it thrilling to the extent that I almost never talk about it because if I did, I would quickly become as glassy-eyed and tedious as any other fanatical zealot.
Leave me alone with some simple geometric shapes, and I'll lose myself in their mysteries for hours.
And for quite some time, I've been thinking about the patterns in traditional Fair Isle knitwear. I've had this crazy idea about making a garment for myself, entirely dyed with local plants, and knit in the Fair Isle style.
I've been working on this, casually, for some time now. Collecting the dye materials. Growing the dye materials. Dyeing the yarn. Pouring over images of traditional motifs. I knit a preliminary swatch some time back which wasn't quite right. This weekend, I finally got serious about this project (and admittedly, I was also a bit stymied by my Other Big Project), and so I cranked out this test swatch.
Here's what the back looks like. I'm really pleased with it, and intend to write a blog post about the process of dyeing all the yarn.
I think this project will simmer on the back burner for a while, until I finish up the Other Big Project. It's exciting to have something so fun, next in line.