Shades of Shetland?? where??? show me!

Lorraine asked me if I had received my Winter Interweave Knits yet - no I said. She says, well, I think there is something in here that would amuse you -- and she opened her Interweave Knits Winter magazine to this page:

Totally ignoring the fact that they use "Shades of Shetland" my blog name in this ad....after all, it's just three words and I don't own them LOL!!!!

This ad is for a stranded sweater, done in 100% Peruvian wool, so what does "Shades of Shetland" have to do with it. Ah yes, I see......they call it a fair isle sweater.......fair isle, Shetland, yes I see the connection....sort of. Well, I guess if you call all two-color per row stranded projects "fair isle" then it fits.

BUT if you, like me, believe that a fair isle sweater is a style not a technique....that a fair isle sweater needs to be made of 100% Shetland yarn (and that's Shetland yarn from sheep raised on the group of islands North of Scotland known collectively as Shetland) and that it should have some resemblance to the traditional allover, OXO, border and pirie patterns that this style of sweater traditionally incorporates, well, you'll get my point.

My opinion isn't original.......this dilution of the term "Fair Isle" was pointed out to me the the first time I watched Meg Swansen's Fair Isle Vest video. She pointed out that the particular style of sweater known as Fair Isle was being referred to as a knitting technique and was losing it's individual identity - she felt that it was sad......I agree. BTW, I highly recommend this video -- available at Schoolhouse Press.

I know that some might not agree with me -- that's fine -- but I just had to laugh when I saw "Shades of Shetland".


  1. When I first saw that in my magazine I said "WHAT?!?!", then laughed, then was a bit sad. I would have thought that they would know better.

  2. You mean you haven't emailed them about that yet???

  3. Ohh, I see what you mean, and surely I prefer the original yarn. But when hands are itching, and one cannot go out buying yarn, and you don't have the original yarn, then you have to settle with other yarn, if you have any you can use, who knit up to the gauge, and looks if not perfect, then at least decent!*GRIN*

    If I could I can assure you, that my shelfs in this house, would be fill of yummy yarn to knit fair isle with!*GRIN*

    Like kitty babies.......take a loog on my blog!!:-)

  4. I had no idea about this, thanks for enlightening me. Is there a word to call a two-color per row stranded project? (other than 2 color per row stranded project)

  5. Anne- I'm always annoyed about Fair Isle being mis-labelled- but I guess it's a matter of education.

    They also used "Traditions with a Twist"- a little too close to be a co-incidence.

  6. You know, when I saw the ad for that particular company, I instantly thought of you. So, for those of us who know you, who read you and who purchase from you, I think you just got some free advertising. PLUS when you type it into google, your blog is the first to come up. So ... maybe this will be super positive and have people see what fair isle really is!

  7. I saw that and immediately thought of you! Ugh, it annoys me NO END when Fair Isle is put out as a catch all phrase for anything that strands more than 2-colours.

    I would e-mail them...

  8. It should be 'Shades of Peru...'
    m :)

  9. I thought of you - the words "Shades of Shetland" are so familiar now. I also find KnitPicks' patterns a little uninspired.



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