“Who let that guy in?”
If we look at winter as one giant holiday party, then fair isle is the perennial gatecrasher. Tweed? Corduroy? Flannel? Sure, they’re on the list. But fair isle? Who let that guy in? Yes, fair isle has its heritage, and the tiny Scottish island from which it derives should certainly be proud of how their signature style has gone, but I for one am I surprised by the endurance of fair isle. It’s both goofy and garish in equal measure. Certain fair isles appear as outdated as your grandmother’s curtains, while others can be as blindingly bright as overdone Christmas lights. So really what is it about fair isle that brings us back to this absurd pattern year after year? It’s the green-bean casserole of the knitwear world – a reliable seasonal stalwart that will always have a place at the table. It’s not the best, most attractive winter pattern, but it just wouldn’t be winter without it.