Fair Isle knitting is addictive: you've been warned. Who could resist all that color and pattern?
Before we dive into our favorite projects, we should note that not everything below is technically Fair Isle knitting. What is it then? Stranded colorwork — also known as carrying two or more yarns along the back of your knitting.
Lots of cultures and traditions use this style of stranded knitting, but Fair Isle just happens to be the one most people know best. Now that we've cleared that up, let's dig into some patterned knits and carry those colors!
1. Hats Off to Fair Isle
When learning a new technique, trying it on a hat is the way to go: it's small enough that it's not a huge time investment, but not so small that it's fiddly to work with. That why this Copenhagen Hat is right at the top of our list.
2. Cozy, Colorful Cowl
This gorgeous cowl will give you plenty of stranding practice. And if a cowl sounds a little too simple, fear not — changing motifs keep this project from getting boring!
3. Get Your Mitts on These Mittens
Stranded mittens are extra cozy — all those floats on the back side equal an extra layer of woolly warmth. Do your hands a favor and knit up a pair while there's still lots of winter left to enjoy!
4. Make it Match
Ok we cheated, this one is actually two projects...but we couldn't break up this adorable caribou family! Since the hat and mittens share motifs, it's basically like one big project (wink, wink).
5. Getting Steek-y
Stranded knitting and knitting in the round usually go hand-in-hand (it's just easy to carry your yarn if you're always on the right side). But what to do if you're knitting something that's not a tube? Enter steeking, the art of cutting your knitting . Sounds scary, but It's really not. Ease yourself into it with something small, like this button-up coffee press cozy.
6. For the Traditionalist
Fair Isle enthusiasts, this one's for you. This traditional vest is full of enough Fair Isle motifs, stranding, and steeking to keep you totally challenged and happy as can be. It's not a quick knit, but it will definitely earn a place of honor in your wardrobe.