Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Two Sisters, One Knitting Technique: Fair Isle

Robert's wee pullover and matching toque.

 One of the wonderful pleasures of we two sisters working together is we really balance each other. And this goes for knitting too! I love knitting lace patterns, especially in shawls: it is a challenge that I enjoy. I love seeing how all the yarn overs and knit together's create the lacey design. I enjoy concentrating and focusing just that and blocking out the world to create something beautiful.

But colour work—that's definitely not for me! The most I will do is creating something with stripes. Colour work is knitting with two or more colours to create a pattern. It's called Fair Isle knitting and it's a traditional knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colours. It is named after Fair Isle, a tiny island in the north of Scotland, that forms part of the Shetland islands. I love the results, but to be honest, I haven't knit with multiple colours because it looks too finicky to me.

However, Margaret enjoys colour work. I remember she made me, my husband, and my son matching Fair Isle sweaters and a hat for my son. This was in the late 1980s from one of those Mary Maxim patterns. I was thrilled even then because I wouldn't ever consider making something like that.

Robert wearing the toque his Auntie Margaret made for him.
I see some Fair Isle work and I am in awe over it! I might try some simple colour work but no more than two colours to create the design or pattern. Maybe a hat. I have seen some great patterns with simple designs.

It's funny, though, Margaret hasn't made anything using the Fair Isle technique in years! I wonder if she has lost interest after making those three sweaters for us all those years ago?! 

I guess it is my own self-confidence holding me back. I am sure I can do it. But sometimes I wonder if I want to do it and put it out there.

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