Fair Isle Beanie

After borrowing a fair isle book from spinning group recently I found myself becoming fascinated with the use of colour in knitting. Pouring over the pages late at night, from baby hats to cardigans, mittens and so on, there just seemed to be so many options. I had to give it a try!


After another late night session trawling through the patterns on ravelry, I settled on this one. I really liked the design and as a bonus, it also happened to be free. Plus, I actually had the required yarn in my stash, some leftover white 4 ply, a ball of op-shopped vintage light blue 4 ply and a ball of handspun and hand dyed dark blue! It seemed there was no excuse not to start knitting.


Being my first ever project with such frequent colour changes, I found following the pattern from a chart to be surprisingly uncomplicated. I did however struggle with my tension, pulling it too tight for the first half of the beanie, then correcting it (somewhat) once I hit the crown. The result? A good (very good) fit around the ears..oh yeah, this baby won't be blowing off in the wind! I also would've preferred a thicker yarn for the white, but didn't want to change once I was into the project. 


I found knitting the hat incredibly time consuming, changing colours every 1st, 2nd or 3rd stitch. There surely has to be an easier way to hold the yarns together to save all that picking up and letting go? Please share if you know the trick!

I would love to try this hat in a different colour combination..maybe reds with a little handspun brown and white. Or green, brown and white! Once again, I find myself back to The Options!

Linking up with the lovely Linda today.

Comments

  1. I love your hat - itching to have a go :)

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  2. Wow! I'm so impressed, Fair Isle knitting is a life ambition of mine, I wish I could just pick up some yarn and have a go with these kind of results, well done!

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  3. two handed knitting! i had done a bit of fair isle before learning to do it this way, but learned to do it on my selbu modern... i think if you can get good at it, it goes much faster...
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/49182185@N02/4944192245/in/set-72157624846992922
    i'll have to have a look and see if i can find a link that shows you how to do it!

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  4. It's a beautifully coloured toque. I'm afraid I can't offer any helpful hints.

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  5. No first-hand experience, but I've read that knitting inside out is a very good way to keep the floats loose and even. If I ever get the nerve to try colorwork, I'll try that method. Makes sense!

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  6. Oh my goodness, that's gorgeous! I am a beginner knitter so mo help from me - just AWE!

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  7. Lovely work! I'm on my first fair isle in a round project. (Baby dotty blanket from Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines.) I started with the same issues. I found this video on youtube called Managing Colorwork by Interweave Videos. In it they show a method for keeping a color in each hand. Hope this helps.

    Knitting inside out sounds interesting... I'll try that next.

    -Miriam

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  8. Gorgeous! The colors are me in every way. I'm sorry can't help you with any tips. I crochet, but have never taken up knitting. Something like this has me thinking maybe I should.

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  9. The hat is stunning. I hold all the different colours in my hand as if I'm going to knit them together then with a bit of wiggling put my finger under the yarn I'm going to knit with and make the stitch. I have found it fairly easy to change colours that way but do have to remember to untangle the yarns every now and then ; - (.

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  10. Your hat is really lovely, and reminds me of a fair isle beret that I knitted and wore as a teenager. I love the colour combination, and think I may have to look for this pattern.

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  11. Some other readers have hit the nail on the head - I use a combination of two handed knitting and also using different fingers to hold different coloured strands (depending on the number of colours I'm combining). I learned the technique in a nifty workshop with Liz Gemmell. Her advice was to limit the number of colours used in each row to three for convenience and I've noticed a lot of fair isle patterns don't exceed that either. I love the colours in your beautiful beanie - the one thing I can't do is combine colours successfully, must get hold of a book on colour theory one day. I also like the simple combinations - have you seen this on ravelry? http://www.ravelry.com/projects/windingtheskein/huron

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  12. It is lovely! I really like the colours you have used. I have only tried fair isle once but I must have carried the colours across too tightly as the finished garment did not have any give in it and was too small. This video tutorial shows a few different methods for holding the yarn when knitting fair isle http://youtu.be/nVMPaHJYdv0

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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