Thursday, November 29, 2012

Destination: Fair Isle

This winter I’ve been drawn to Fair Isle sweaters. They’re cozy, yet classy; with the perfect pop of color and texture. Forget jewelry and handbags, I want to accessorize them with hot chocolate, wind burned cheeks and a messy braid.

The fairest of them all

Madewell / ALTERNATIVE wrap top / Splendid knit top / J.Crew j. crew pants / Vera Wang Lavender Label / Minnetonka Womens El Paso Ankle Boot Brown

If you're a bit of a travel nerd like me, you'll appreciate that Fair Isle is not just a classic pattern for a sweater, it is also one of the Shetland Islands (it's located a bit north of Scotland and spans only a few square miles!) 

Fun facts and an island photo after the jump!

Here are a few quick fun facts about the Fair Isle print:
  • While the term Fair Isle is commonly used for many multi-color patterns, the traditional characteristics include about five colors (two per row), worked in a round.
  • Norse settlers brought the native sheep to Shetland in the 9th century. The texture of the sheep's wool was soft, light and warm - well-suited to knitting. Knitting became a main part of the Shetland Islands' economy.
  • By the 1850s, those on the island of Fair Isle were famous for their particular knitting style with bright colors and OXO patterns.
  • The Fair Isle sweater's mainstream debut was in the 1920s when the Prince of Wales donned a Fair Isle sweater vest. The trend caught on... and stuck.
  • There are only about 700 residents on the island of Fair Isle. 

How beautiful is Fair Isle? 

An island native: my parents' Shetland sheepdog, Ozzy

Fair Isle, you are now both on my shopping list AND my travel list.

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