Fair Isle sweaters are a traditional favorite for fall and winter. The traditional knitting pattern is named, obviously, for Fair Isle, the most remote inhabited island in the United Kingdom. This tiny corner of Scotland, one of the Shetland Islands, is perhaps most famous for knits that have a limited palette of five or so colors, use only two colors per row, are worked in the round, and limit the length of a run of any particular color. For those of us who aren't knitters, that basically translates to rows of small, intricate patterns.
The pattern was popularized 1920s when Edward VIII, Prince of Wales, took to wearing the pattern.
Over the years, Fair Isle knits have become synonymous with leisure, outdoorsy activities, and a traditionally British aesthetic.
I love that Fair Isle sweaters work well year after year. They never really go out of style. I may have a problem with collecting pink ones, though...
Modern Fair Isle knits aren't just relegated to stuffy sweaters. Here are some great Fair Isle pieces at every price point, ranging from traditional and preppy to modern and irreverent.