Instagram has a hashtag #fairislefriday where you can see everyone’s Fair Isle knits. It is something we like. Cathy made this little Fair Isle hat for her granddaughter. The butterscotch is avocado dyed wool. The pink is mohair and the yellows and creams are merino. The other wool is Border Leicester. Fair Isle knitting can be very satisfying because you can make patterns and contrast colours . With a hat it is important to mark the beginning of a row and then to make sure your pattern will work across the number of stitches you have.
Very Pink Knits will get you going if you haven’t tried Fair Isle before.
We have a few people in the club who are good at fair isle and who remind us of how good it can look. Margaret’s beanie was a real eye catcher this week but it is also beautifully made. It’s the colours which make it a stand out.
She has spun very fine wool and plied it so it knits roughly as a three ply . It makes a difference to the finish to have this finely spun wool. One of the things which worries people about fair isle is the carrying of the wool at the back and the fact they get it too tight or get holes . The video shows you how to correct that and the main thing is not to pull the yarn. Just knit the colours in naturally. The other problem you can get is your pattern can be disrupted as you make the decreases for the top of the beanie. Either use a pattern which someone else has worked out , use a pattern which won’t matter if you decrease or use your brains as you do the decreases to set the pattern logically. It’s all part of the fun!
The advantage of having senior members in our group is that they know so much, have done so much and have some awesome skills . Luckily for us they share them freely and love to see that they can have a good impact on our yarn passion. We are lucky we have some really good fine yarn spinners in the group because they encourage us to have a reason to spin finely and to persist.
Margaret brought along these knitted mittens which she had entered in a country show a while back. They are so inspiring and impressive. The wool she spun for them is about a millimetre wide for the single ply and then she had plied two together and said it knitted up as a four ply wool. The colours give her mittens a bit of a medieval look and so they are very striking. The skills involved in these mittens are inspirational and we are so glad Margaret brought these along to share at our meeting. The wind was very cold today so her hands were stylishly warm!
#fairislefriday is an Instagram hashtag which you can take a look at if you are on Instagram. You see some great things. Fair Isle is a bit more than two colour work. There is a whole heritage which goes with it and traditional patterns. Fair Isle is a tiny island between Orkney and Shetland . The video shows you a Shetland knitter with her leather belt and how she goes about knitting Fair Isle pieces.
Hazel Tindall, who grew up in the Shetlands keeps her website up to date with Fair Isle patterns and information. You can find some simple Fair Isle patterns to play with on tricksyknitter. There is a YouTube video you can look at showing you how to knit a Fair Isle Tam/beanie/hat.