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Fair Isle and Other Stranded Knitting

I’m really hoping to win a copy of The Joy of Color from today’s giveaway! Loved Franklin Habit’s book review and if I don’t win it, it’ll be on my Amazon wish list. :slight_smile:

I love doing stranded colorwork… I haven’t done any true Fair Isle yet, but I’m just about to cast on a hot water bottle pattern called Three Seasons in Scotland with stash. I figure if the colors don’t quite work, I’m not out much but I will have learned something.


I Loved the book review. Color is always the challenge for me.
Stranded knitting and I go way back. I think I first read about two-end knitting (Using the inside end and the outside end of a ball of yarn to alternate stitches in the same row) in a Gladys Thompson book in the 70’s. I was a handspinner with a lot of woolenspun singles, and two-end knitting produced a mitten, that once felted, was virtually waterproof. This was important at the time, as we were up every winter morning, smashing the ice in the sheeps’ water buckets with our mittened fists. I think, because of the utility of the structure, that two-end knitting is the foremother of colored (fairisle) knitting that used alternating colors in the same row. The way the strands smooth off the inside of garments also recommended the technique. Also, when wool felts, as woolen sweaters and mittens do, the stranded knitting is is stabilized nicely. But I think the strands must have contributed greatly to making the sweater more wind and weather resistant. Adding color to this wonderful structure must have happened as soon as there were two colors available.


That’s so interesting about two-end knitting!!

I think playing around with color-work is in my future. That hot water bottle cozy is just darling.

It’s been probably six years since I did anything with more than one yarn at a time. I made a felted stranded-colorwork bag, with braided i-cord handles and then never even contemplated doing another color-work thing. Go big or go home (although a sweater would’ve been WAY bigger, I imagine). Yes, it’s time to delve into the stash…


Well, those are some pretty nice colors. It even ‘looks’ warm.

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I swatched last night…


That’s a great bag! I’ve been shying away from, while also shying toward, stranded knitting for far too long. I keep telling myself to knit a nice simple 2 color hat – yarn & pattern acquired a year or maybe 2 years ago! If I could just get myself to knit a swatch & not change my mind about the colors every time I think about it. (Ended up w 2 options, so NO excuse!)

Hmmm… Methinks I need an IRL knitting group or at the very least to hang out at my lovely LYS. Yes! That’s what I’ll do. (I’ve been saying this for far far to long.)

Anyone in NYC or environs wanna meet at Knitty City? It’ll be fun… I PROMISE…

Oh! An idea! Ravelry has a knit nite there once a month maybe MDK can too??? Might anyone be interested in an MDK gathering? Of course, alternatively, we could meet in coffee shop or a home if that’s preferred.