Drawing on the traditions of her homeland in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, Alice Starmore has designed 20 garments, including 3 designs for men, and 2 for children. Her wonderful sense of design and colour are evident in all the sweaters, as well as in the photography and book design.
While using traditional techniques, and emphasizing high standards of craftsmanship, the author has created garments reflective of own personal style, through unique colour and pattern designs. As in many of her publications, her work does not stand in isolation as a collection of ‘knitting patterns’. It is deeply connected with her own past and the stories and traditions of her both her homeland, and the knitters of the past. Interspersed with the garment patterns are stories about the Broad Bay, and the Outer Hebrides – its geography, mysteries, and its people both past and present.
Of the sweaters themselves, the designs are evenly split between knit/purl textures, cables and cable/knit-purl combinations, Fair Isle in fine traditionally based designs, and Fair Isle in original designs. There is a simple diamond patterned gansey for children; a long tunic gansey with finely made knit/purl designs and shoulder straps and gussets; and an elegant waistcoat in a herringbone purl.
The cable patterns vary from a cable and texture patterned jacket with an unusual cabled shawl collar to a striking ribbed cabled sweater inspired by the Atlantic swells. One of the traditional patterns, inspired by a museum Fair Isle, is finely knit in a richly toned madder and indigo, and features a Fair Isle design in the hem, cuffs and neckband – a very timeless piece. Of the newer designs, one is swirling waves of colours in blues, soft browns and a blush – a likeness of the waves of the Hebridean shore.
This is a wonderful collection of patterns, whose aim is to teach knitters more techniques about colour and design, and in so doing inspire them to create their own variations.