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Fair-Isle Knitting by Monica Russel

Fair-Isle Knitting by Monica Russel, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782215806, price 14.99 available from www.searchpress.com

This book offers three separate things – instructions on techniques; 45 stitch designs and 14 knitting patterns under the umbrella Fair-Isle. You can choose to knit from charts or written instructions. It’s a very loose look at fair-isle, that people often mistake as just colour knitting. It borders on folk and intarsia instead of true fair-isle. The patterns use a variety of yarn including Jamesons shetland, which comes in a fabulous range of colours, but this author sadly has no colour sense at all. Some of the samples have had the yarn stretched tight at the back too, a rookie error with fair-isle. The projects, assuming you think about the colours, are better than the sample stitch patterns but still too many are just coloured knitting methods and not fair-isle. A big disappointment if you are expecting what the title says. There is so little in this book about real fair-isle knitting.

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Book review Cable Knits From Nordic Lands by Ivar Asplund

Cable Knits From Nordic Lands by Ivar Asplund, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782218142, price 14.99 available from www.searchpress.com

This book presents with a pleasant cover. It is subtitled ‘Beauty and Ingenuity In Over 20 Unique Patterns’. Without doubt there are some wonderful stitch patterns and anyone who enjoys aran-style, textured knits will find this book of interest. However, it has one big let-down for experienced knitters – the shaping of the garments leaves a lot to be desired. Mainly straight with straight sleeves, these garments tend to be bulky under the arms. A little know-how will mean you can change the shaping and this book is best bought as a small stitch guide. Step by step instructions, charts and stitch sampler.