First Fair IslePosted: January 4, 2006
After practicing two-handed fair isle on a swatch, I finally started my Bea Ellis Traditional Norwegian Hat.
When I uploaded the first photo to my computer, I laughed out loud because at a glance it actually makes my fair isle look semi-decent. And you can see the snowflakes!! Wooo-hoo!! But I wish y’all could see the hat in person, because my fair isle has a lot to be desired. I’m not great at taking non-fuzzy close-ups, so here is the best I could do:
As you can see, my knitting is bumpy, and the stitches are different sizes. I thought about ripping the entire thing out and starting over after more practice, but I was having too much fun watching the pattern develop. And to be honest, I bought this kit in order to learn fair isle knitting, so I am cutting myself a little slack and letting it be the way it is for now. I may finish the entire thing first and then frog it, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. Want to see the floats?
I have been trying to determine whether the floats are too tight. My gut feeling is that they are, but on the other hand I didn’t want them all hanging loose either. I’ve read that I should spread out my stitches on the right needle before twisting the yarns in the back, so I have been trying to remember to take that step.
Two-handed knitting has been fun and challenging! I’ve never knit Continental before, so this has been a slow project for me. At first I kept wrapping the stitches incorrectly with my left hand and thus twisting them. Then I switched to “picking” so that I don’t have to wrap, and it’s working a lot better. Until now I’ve never been inclined to learn Continental, but now I’m thinking that it’s worthwhile to learn it just so I can be better at two-handed fair isle in the future. Perhaps I will knit a felted Sophie bag using the Continental technique, because the felting will minimize my uneven gauge!
I started out using the true Philosopher’s Wool method, meaning that there are no floats and all the yarn in the back is woven in. It didn’t work for me because the contrasting color kept showing through. Then I started reading the posts for the Norwegian knit-along, and realized that floats are fine too. As a side note, I think the Philosopher’s Wool instructional clips (which can be viewed on their website) are really clear and good. I highly recommend checking out their clips if you’re interested in learning this technique.
Fair isle knitting can be addicting! I’m already thinking about trying a headband next!