The September 2011 issue of Marie Claire had a article about how retro-style ski sweaters are "the thing" this fall. Although fair isle sweaters are too hot to wear down here the the Houston swamps, I really like the look.
There are TONS of fair isle patterns out there, but I picked just a few. These are not for the beginner knitter, but they are so beautiful.
From Rowan Magazine #50
From The Fall 2011 issue of Vogue Knitting
If you are looking for something less labor intensive try this cowl from Classic Elite.