We made a shopping outing, today, with one of the stops at a book store, perfect for Christmas gift purchases. I couldn't resist browsing the knitting section, and I picked up Alice Starmore's "Book of Fair Isle Knitting." (So, I got something for myself, too. That's life.)
I read several sections to Chris, after we got home, because he has Scottish family background. The early sections of the book give a history of Fair Isle knitting and the evolution of knitting in the Shetland islands in general. The writing is quite interesting, actually. Chris started paying attention part of the way through, and he said, "What is this called? 'Feral' knitting?" Hee, hee! I envisioned wild, obnoxious sheep, attacking Scotsmen. Too funny.
I have been tempted on numerous occasions to start playing with colorwork, and I noted once again the "December Lights Tam," by Mary Jane Mucklestone, in latest special issue of Interweave Knits, the "Accessories" issue (Nov '09).
The same pattern has been published before (2007's "Holiday Knits" issue). I looked at it longingly, then, too, but I still wasn't ready for colorwork. Now, I'm thinking of giving it a go... Hmmm.
One of the intimidating factors in Fair Isle is the "steeks." (You have to CUT your knitting. Gasp!) A tam would be a nice way to start some colorwork without taking on steeks in the very same project. I'm such a chicken.