Considering I’m not a knitter, I’m having so much enjoyment from the book published just after the war, Knitting For All. It has such charming illustrations, and such a nice tone, like an affectionate aunty trying to help her rather fumble-fingered niece to knit:
Fair Isle knitting is the name given to knitting in a number of colours in patterns. The name is derived from Fair Isle in the Shetlands from where many of the patterns originate. This form of knitting is quite simple, provided the different strands of wool are prevented from becoming entangled; to avoid this proceed as follows:-
Hold the knitting in the ordinary way with one colour (neutral for instance) held in the right hand as for plain knitting. Another colour, say blue, is held in the left hand over the middle finger, well away from the knitting. The natural stitches are worked in the ordinary way, passing over the blue wool which is held out by the left hand, thus “stranding” it at the back of the work…
“Have you understood it so far?” “Yes, aunty...”
To knit a blue stitch, the natural wool is kept in the left hand and the point of the right hand needle is passed through the next stitch as for knitting, then over the blue wool and under it from right to left, pulling the wool through…
“Could you just show me again aunty…”
I think I might struggle a bit on this… there are another couple of paragraphs… but they don’t really enlighten me!