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Fair Isle

(11 Posts)
Nanabelle Sun 27-Sep-15 20:52:13

I have never tried Fair Isle knitting before, but went on a day workshop and had a wonderful time. We learnt a bit about the history; colour choices; yarn and then different ways to hold the two balls of wool. Then we chose our patterns from a book, copied them out on squared paper, chose our colours and started knitting.
We had to use dpns - five needles - but is was so fiddley, I would rather try circular needles, with the magic loop method.
Does anyone knit fair isle and what needles do you like to use?
I would post a picture, but we only managed to do just under an inch of knitting, but I can see the pattern emerging!

Luckygirl Sun 27-Sep-15 21:00:20

You can get "cheat" fairisle wool which has different colours along its length and knits up like fairisle. This is the stuff.

I do admire you doing the real thing.

loopylou Sun 27-Sep-15 21:07:11

That'll be a real labour of love Nanabelle
Many years ago I did one at evening class, and it was all engrossing.

My mum did one for my sisters and I, I have a photo somewhere: natural coloured wool, red, blue, green fair isle and we're all wearing red tartan kilts. Golly, that must be about 55 years ago......

janerowena Sun 27-Sep-15 22:01:57

I have done a lot of fair isle knitting, but not circular by preference. I preferred to split any circular pattern and knit it as two, although I did do a couple of jumpers that had the yokes all around the shoulders, when I did use five. To stop losing the stitches, I used a combination of row counters and wine corks on the ends of the needles.

I watched one of my class trying fairisle the other day, and she had been watching a youtube video. I wind the two colours around each other at the back to keep them tidy and stop the single stitches from being pulled too tightly when perhaps there is only one every seven or more, she didn't because the woman on the video didn't and ended up having to unpick it all. It's very easy to pull the thread too tightly on circular needles, less so on straight ones.

rubysong Sun 27-Sep-15 22:12:01

In about 1970 I knitted fair isle pullovers (sleeveless) for DH and myself. We wore them with black cords and felt very trendy, dressed like twins.

ninathenana Sun 27-Sep-15 23:56:06

Made me think of my mum, she used to knit fairisle, double cable and anything else you could think of.
My knitting has always been very basic.

Indinana Mon 28-Sep-15 10:09:00

I made jumpers for both my DC when they were little, with fair Isle yokes, one in heather pink for DD and the other in a sort of moss green for DS. I think I used a circular needle, but it was so long ago I can't be sure! I never did fair isle again though - I just needed to try it and was satisfied that I had smile. It was the same with the all over Aran jackets I made for them and for my sister's two boys. Never did Aran again either.

Nanabelle Wed 30-Sep-15 23:40:34

I am so impressed by you all. Indinana, I wanted to do a fair isle yoke for my DGs - not dogs, granddaughters, can't get hang of initials! - but feel it might be too difficult. On the workshop, we are only making a tiny little bag, about 4" across! I might try a scarf one day - I feel the little child might be a teenager before I managed to finish a fair isle cardigan!

Indinana Thu 01-Oct-15 09:30:52

I don't think I would have the interest these days to do a large area of fair isle, Nanabelle. I'm just one of those people who has to try things. Once I've tried - and it's worked - then I'm happy, don't have to do it again if it wasn't the fun I thought it might be grin.
You clearly have the interest and desire to make fair isle garments for your GC, so keep at it, set that as a challenge for you to achieve in 2016! I await the photos with baited breath smile

Jansty Mon 26-Oct-15 21:47:35

I love doing my own Fair Isle using any colours that go together and did jumpers for all my children a long time ago. I used to make it up myself as it grew and preferred that to trying to follow a complicated chart. I just found a plain pattern then chose a basic colour and about six others. Two Christmases ago I did fingerless gloves for my daughters the same way. It's quite easy really. I do it on a pair of needles and weave the other colours into the back of the garment as I go.

stillhere Mon 26-Oct-15 22:03:28

(was janerowena) We are all now doing a simple version of fairisle/intarsia at my knitting club, they all wanted to make xmas jumpers for their OHs so I found a simple pattern in super chunky wool. At least, I thought it would be simple for them but there is a band of ribbing all the way down each side of the garment, to add to their troubles. I ended up last week literally running around the table re-writing the pattern to get rid of the ribbing so they could concentrate on the snowflake pattern! They all want to run before they can walk.

If anyone wants an easy introduction, this is the pattern

We are omitting the ribbed striped edgings.

Also, I am making the smallest size, and was doubtful there would be enough wool - there isn't. I did the back and a sleeve first, that took just over half and so there definitely wouldn't have been enough for even a simple neck, which is what mine will have, not the roll neck pictured.