A Shetlander's Fair Isle Graph Book

This new book reproduces the content of exercise books that belonged to the knitwear manager of Anderson & Co. A wonderful new source of design inspiration and a fascinating insight into the history knitting in Shetland. 

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One of my very favourite things in the incredible Shetland Museum and Archives are the hand drawn Fair Isle pattern graph books — a precursor to contemporary stitch dictionaries. Most of those simply record the motifs with dots or crosses in a single colour, but the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Knitters, Weavers and Dyers recently discovered two unusual examples.

These humble exercise books had belonged to the knitwear manager of Anderson & Co. and date from the 1930s and 40s. What makes them special is that every pattern is coloured, in stunningly vibrant combinations — they’re incredibly beautfiul artefacts in their own right and the designs and colours challenge what we think of as traditional. This new book reproduces the content of the exercise books, and contains an introduction from the museum’s curator Dr Carol Chistiansen.