Tagged: Learn how to fair isle knit

Jun 25

How to Knit – Fair Isle Knitting

Learn How To Fair Isle Knit (courtesy of KnitPicks)

You can use a technique called stranded color work to knit with 2 different colors in the same row, or to create complex patterns. Fair Isle knitting is a type of stranded color work where you use traditional shetland island motifs and color gradients to make beautiful, shimmering patterns.

There are a number of ways to do stranded color work. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to knit in the round, while holding one color in each hand. Your right hand will throw the yarn in the english or American style, and your left hand will hold the 2nd color in the continental style.

For each stitch, you knit one strand of yarn while the other is carried behind the work, creating a strand or “float”. You usually use finer yarn for this, because floats will cause your fabric to be much thicker. Keep the floats fairly loose. Tight floats will cause your finished fabric to picker.

When in doubt, err on the side of floats that are a little too loose. Also, don’t get discouraged. Remember that blocking out your finished piece will really even out your stitches.

1) Decide which yarn will be held in each hand, then stick to this decision throughout your color work project. Knitters usually hold the background color with the right hand, and the contrast color with the left hand.

2) When knitting in the round, follow the chart in your pattern from right to left. Color work charts usually try to use a single color for less than 5 to 6 stitches in a row, in order to keep the floats manageable.

3) If your color work pattern has teeny, tiny motifs, you don’t have to worry about the next part of this tutorial. If your chart has longer, single color stretches, you may want to wrap your floats, by bringing a floating yarn over or under the working yarn in the middle of a long color stretch. Try to have no more than 3 stitches between wraps, and make sure to alternate any wrapped stitches with regularly knit stitches.

4) To wrap a float made out of the left strand, the first stitch of the color is knit normally. The next stitch you’ll want to wrap. Put your needle into the stitch and under the yearn on the left hand. Proceed to knit your stitch with the right color, per as normal. You have essentially lifted the left-hand color over the right.

5) To wrap a float made out of the right strand, pretend to knit with your right hand, wrapping the right hand color around the needle, as if to knit, but don’t knit it! Immediately after that, pretend to knit with your left hand, by picking up the color in the left hand with the right needle tip. Then, unwrap your right-hand color, and bring the left color stitch through. Do not weave 2 stitches in a row, and be sure to put an ordinary stitch in between, or the weaving won’t work.


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