My colleague’s knitting lesson (thanks Nicola!) has inspired a personal knitting renaissance! I have just finished another hat (and started a new one…)
Here are some photos of the hat and me looking very proud of myself.
And a close up the patterns I used:
The larger pattern I modeled on a pattern from the book “Mastering Colour Knitting” I got from the library. While it wasn’t great as far is teaching myself how to knit fair isle or read charts, it does have some great charts in it. Personally I think knitting is something that needs to be demonstrated visually and doesn’t come across well in books or through pictures alone. Youtube probably has some great videos (like this one) but I needed a one-on-one demonstration. Once I saw some one do it, and had the chance to ask questions, it literally look me about 5 minutes to learn.
Here is a scan of some other fairisle charts including a chart for the southerwestern / aztec / navajo inspired pattern I used.
The book has some pretty great patterns in it. The new hat I am working on will feature more Fair Isle designs as well! I will post pictures once its done. The larger patten in the above hat I knitted is adapted from the pattern in the bottom right.
It also has some intarsia charts that I haven’t yet attempted… though in theory it’s the same. However, instead of carrying the 2nd colour of yarn along with you as you knit, you leave the ball kind of hanging around the one area where you are using it (as far as I understand).
In the fairisle hat above I had some pretty large gaps between colours (13 stitches in some rows). When knitting in fairisle you end up with “floats” on the wrong side of your knitting, which is the yarn that is not showing on the right side. If you have long stretches of a row when you don’t use one of your colours you have to twist it around your active colour to avoid having huge long bits of yarn hanging off the back, as these can get snagged on fingers and earrings etc. I did a twist to catch the 2nd colour every 5 or so stitches.
Knitting in fairisle uses more yarn than regular stockinette, but also creates warmer garments because often you have 2 (or more) strands of yarn going throughout your piece.
So my head is nice and toasty :)