Fair Isle: My new favourite thing

I was never good at knitting. All I could do properly was cast on. Then I found a treasure trove of knitting patterns and not being able to work them was annoying me a little. So I tried to use crochet & tunisian crochet stitches that look like knitting, while that all looked good it wasn’t making me happy. That’s how I decided to finally learn knitting.

Being a crocheter, it wasn’t all that difficult to figure out things. Some things feel natural, like holding the yarn, movement of fingers… my style is what they call the traditional or English style of knitting. Some crocheters might prefer the continental style as it has some similarities to crochet in terms of holding the yarn. However, my very early lessons in knitting as a kid had been in the English style. So I preferred to start where I had left off.

After about a dozen attempts to knit a perfect square, I was proficient enough to try new things. Then of course, I went on to try fair isle knitting. I started small with baby hats and then moved on to make this cushion cover. I’m in love with fair isle knitting patterns. The colourful patterns make my heart sing.

tinyheartshat2tinyheartshat4ombrehatearflap_top1Fairisle cushion1

The plan right now is to make four more of these in order to have a set of some kind. But I assure you, it most certainly won’t be a matchy-matchy set.

Here is the knitting pattern I used for this cushion. It’s a 14 st repeat.

Fair isle designfair isle cushion 2

I started off with knitting a couple rows of just blue before I worked the pattern and then ended with couple rows blue as well to keep the symmetry. One thing I have learned, fair isle knitting is easier and more enjoyable if it’s done in the round. While it is possible to do it as a flat piece of knitting, it’s confusing for a beginner and I didn’t enjoy the fact that every purl row I was clueless about how it looks and had to keep flipping over to see the right side if I’d got it right.

fair isle zip

This is an 18inch cushion. I have used a 12ply yarn and I cast on 126 and joined to make the round. Once the cushion measured 18.5in, I cast off and sewed one end using a tapestry needle and mattress stitch. On the other opening I sewed on a zipper using simple cotton thread and worked it in between the stitches so that it isn’t visible.

I can’t wait to cast on the next project! Excited! What do you think of this design? Do you too like fair isle knitting? Let me know in the comments below.

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