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Wednesday, July 14, 2010



I'm getting ready to hopefully embark on my first sock knitting adventure later this summer. ;) Not sure how I'll do though--it kind of intimidates me!

But, on the subject of fair isle knitting: I'm interested to see what other comments you get and any resources you find. I've been dying to knit myself a little 40s sweater with some fair isle work on it, but have no clue where to start, and frankly, it scares me. It's the whole colorwork thing, I think! lol. I love the inspirations you posted here--they're all so tempting!

♥ Casey
blog | elegantmusings.com


I am by no means an expert on fair isle. In fact, I am only halfway through my first fair isle knitting attempt. It is a Harry Potter scarf based on the beautiful fair isle scarf pattern Hermione wore in the 5th movie. I CAN point you in the direction of several videos that gave me the confidence to attempt this project, however.

The way I learned fair isle is this: You need to know how to knit in both the Continental style and the English method. (In other words, with the yarn held in both the left hand and the right hand.) Here are very good links showing videos for the knit and purl stitches in both methods: http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knit-stitch and http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/purl-stitch . Once you have accomplished those, you combine them for fair isle knitting: http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/advanced-techniques (scroll down to the "how to knit with 2 colors" video)

If you are going to knit fair isle in the round, this is an EXCELLENT video on how to carry your stitches behind the work so that everything is smooth with no long strings for snags: http://www.philosopherswool.com/Pages/Twohandedvideo.htm

My scarf so far is turning out exactly the way I want, and I was very surprised at just how easy fair isle can be! Good luck to you, and to you too, Casey! I enjoy both of your blogs so very much!

P.S. Sorry for all the video links. I am a visual learner, and it was the way that helped me most.


Ugh, my crocheted socks are still wadded up in a little ball! I would suggest trying to make some fair isle swatches rather than jumping right into a project. From what I've read on it, it takes a lot of practice to keep the tensions right.

Kathy Zadrozny

• Lauren - Thanks so much for all those video links! I'm a visual learner too and Knitting Helps video has definitely saved my sanity through various knitting projects! Their fair isle video is a really good and the one from Philosophers Wool is awesome. Looks like I need to learn the English method in order to not drive myself crazy with tangled yarn and inconsistent tension. I've worked with two-colors for a double-sided scarf before, so I'm glad to see that there is some overlap in techniques there. Thanks again for all these links, you certainly gave me some confidence in actually being able to pull a project like this off!

• Lisette - Doing a test swatch is a good idea. I'll definitely practice like that before sweating over a sweater. Thanks for the tip.

• Casey - Good luck on the socks. I chose a sock pattern that I know had pattern issues with others, but I wanted to see if I could tackle it anyway. I'm going to attempt sock again, but this time I'm going to go for a simple pattern with some nice thick wool for winter. :) Can't wait to see how your sock adventure goes.


I bought some yarn that mimics fair isle last year and made a pair of socks from it. I can't remember the brand, but it was German imported yarn. The variegation pattern of the yarn knitted up so that from a distance, it looked like fair isle. This is only a good option if you want to cheat. If you want to get the experience of actually doing some complicated fair isle knitting, it's not really going to help you.

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