Fair Isle

The premise for this project was to use the research I had already done for my Extended Essay and to make something responding to the points that I had discussed. I was motived to write my essay entitled ‘How and why has knitting been used as a form of communication?’ due to my personal connection with knitting, having taken up the skill recreationally in my first year of university. I was interested in the semiotics, materiality, and conceptions of knitting as a practice historically and contemporarily. I am particularly interested in stretching the medium as far as I can; I am drawn to unconventional form and symbols in knitted artefacts.  The flag is a symbol for place and identity. My flag is designed with motifs from traditional Fair Isle knitting, as well as the symbol that appears on the label of authentic Fair Isle garments. In my first chapter of my extended essay, I discuss traditional fair knitting as a connection to community identity and place. Wool for garments was acquired from the island’s sheep and spun by the community. Natural dyes were developed from the Island’s resources such as madder root. The symbols knitted into the garments reflected the natural and social environment in which they were made. Photos taken by Josh Croll.