Knitting Fair Isle

Hi there, thank you for coming back and sharing some of your time with me this weekend. Today I wanted to share with you two projects that I’m currently working on and those are both colourwork projects.

The first one is an Aran weight cowl called the Boreal Forest cowl by designer Renée Callahan of East London Knits. This pattern is part of the Knitvent collection by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. Helen releases a collection of accessories every year leading up to Christmas where subscribers get one pattern a week for 6 weeks and this year for the first time she has invited a second designer to participate in her collection. I’m a fan of Renée’s work and so when I saw the pattern I knew I had to find the yarn and cast on.

I’m of course using my own Aran weight yarn. I had these all dyed up so that was good. I did hesitate to use hand spun for one of the colours but finally decided against it because I didn’t have the exact same thickness on hand.

This pattern uses the fair isle technique, two colours per round and it is a great pattern to work fair isle for the first time. I finished this in no time.

boreal-forest

This pattern uses 3 colours and because of the thickness of the yarn this knits up quite quickly. I’m working on my fair isle technique and trying to knit this with one yarn in each hand and I feel I’m getting better at that, slowly but surely. I think that if you are not used to colour work but want to try it, this would be a good pattern to start out with. The pattern is fairly simple and because it’s knit in Aran weight it knits up quicker than if it were fingering for example.

The other colour work pattern I’m working on are the O.W.L  mittens, a Harry Potter inspired pattern that I’m knitting for my older daughter. This is a much more complicated pattern because the pattern is more complex and cannot be memorised (I think). Also it’s knit in fingering weight so progress is slow. Again I’m using my own yarn in colours my daughter chose. This project requires concentration and at the moment I feel that each round takes a lot of time. Maybe because I’m so worried that I’m holding the yarn too tight and that the fabric will pucker. So I’m stopping frequently to pull on the knit and make sure that my floats are just right. I’ve almost been 

finished one mitten.

The back of the hand has an all over owls on a branch pattern and the palm side has spells written out. I’ve just put the thumb stitches on hold.

This project leads me to tell you about one of the podcasts that I follow and enjoy immensely. It’s a podcast called Fruity Knitting and you can find it on YouTube. If you are not familiar with this podcast I recommend it wholeheartedly. It is hosted by a lovely Australian couple living in Frankfurt, Germany. Andrea, the wife, is an expert knitter with a passion for fair isle and intarsia. Andrew, the husband, is a new knitter who is consistently expanding his skills. It is very fun to see sort of the two extremes in the same podcast. It is fun to see how Andrew progresses and his view of things as a new knitter and Andrea is just an amazing inspiration. She knits such intricate things. Their podcast is unlike any other that I follow and I think theirs is the most educational one. So if you are not yet a subscriber to their show, I highly recommend you check them out.

In their latest episode, Andrea does a tutorial on fair isle knitting in the flat and how she works with one yarn in each hand and how she catches her floats was a revelation to me. I just watched it once and I’m going to watch it again because her technique is awesome and she makes it look super simple. If I’m able to replicate her way of knitting fair isle my two fair isle projects will not only look better but be even more enjoyable to knit I think. If you are thinking of doing a fair isle project and like me, are not an expert, you can definitely benefit from watching Andrea’s tutorial so here is a link

 https://youtu.be/k1eo0VjO_Ik?t=20m14s

Do you knit fair isle or intarsia? I have knit fair isle before but I have never done intarsia and that still intimidates me. Andrea does make it look easy but I’m not yet convinced. If you have any colour work projects you’d like to share with me, I’d love to see a picture in a comment below:)

That’s all for today. Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your knitting 🙂

 

4 thoughts on “Knitting Fair Isle

  1. Lovely colourwork, such a beautiful cowl and mittens. I find it very challenging to get the right tension while doing Fair Isle and also learning to hold the yarn right. At first I tried two strands in one hand, but I also found one strand per hand the best option, as in your post (I am also a bit intimidated by intarsia (!). I’m not sure why. I think stranding is far harder). Bravo!

    Like

  2. Wonderful, thank you for the link. I am still new to colourwork, and even though I have done a few projects, they are not nearly as good as they should or could be.
    I love the cowl you knitted, the pattern and colours seems so perfect together. Just awesome.
    Have a great week. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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