What is traditional Fair Isle knitting?

Geometric patterns echo Fair Isle design, with some contemporary twists.Fair Isle and the neighbouring island group of Shetland, on the northern fringes of the UK, have their own traditional styles of multicolour knitting. Local experts can tell the difference between the two, but the designs are so closely related that most people treat them as one single tradition. The early history wasn’t written down, [more…]

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Can a traditional Shetland shawl really pass through a wedding ring?

Shawl with Shetland lace pattern.   Photo by staralee - CC-BYThe most delicate Shetland shawls can indeed be pulled through a wedding ring.  Knitted in cobweb lace patterns, from finely-spun wool, a shawl 6 feet square (1.8 metres) may weigh as little as 2 ounces (57 grams). To make one the traditional way, you need to know that the finest fleece comes from the sheep’s [more…]

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