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The Very Easy Guide to Fair Isle Knitting
Lynne Watterson

Search Press
12 January 2013/ ISBN 9781844488964
How-To Books / Knitting
Amazon uk || us

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde

If you admire the intricacy and timelessness of Fair Isle knitting but think it looks too complicated, this book might just be what you need.  It promises to be very easy, with step-by-step instructions, easy projects and all the information you require to get started.  But is this all true?

I was impressed by the user-friendly layout of this book.  It even starts out by showing you how to use it for the best results, and is divided helpfully into three sections. These are the basics of knitting, the patterns and finishing techniques.  Each section is divided into a number of lessons, twenty-eight in total taking you from things like understanding yarns and ball bands and having the right kit to aftercare.  In between you can actually learn to knit—from casting on to the basic stitches you need to learn in order to do this style.  If you are a quick learner you might be able to truly get all you need to know to make the projects, but most people would probably be better off learning the nuts and bolts of knitting elsewhere and getting a few plain projects under their belts first.  

There are some very clear diagrams in here, some of the best I have seen, and a particularly informative and simple guide to working out tension.  The patterns themselves come with a handy guide to what they all look like on two pages, and each pattern is easy to follow and starts from the simplest, getting harder throughout the book.  The projects come after a set of related patterns and give you a chance to practice what you have just learned while making something attractive and useful.  A child’s cardigan, hat and scarf set, bag, throw, mug hugs and my favorite the hot water bottle cover are some examples.  Finally you can learn how to block, press and look after your new items as well as add beads and buttons or make simple trims like pompoms and tassels.  I don’t think I have seen many knitting books that explain what you actually need to know better than this one, very highly recommended.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in Sewing World, Sew Hip, Popular Crafts and other magazines. Her craft blog is Green Thoughts

Reviewed 2013