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fair isle knitting

514 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  geekgolightly
I was looking at a pattern that has a band of fair isle knitting in it. Despite watching many videos, I don't understand if you carry all the colors from the beginning or what. How do you join the colors when you need them and how do you cut them out? Any links to pictures or videos are greatly appreciated!
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I usually add the second color in only about a row before I need it. You have to "strand" the unused yarn behind the one your working on. To do that- every three stitches, wrap the unused yarn around the yarn you're working with before you make a stitch. You should do this about every three stitches. When you're ready to knit with the second color, wrap the two yarn colors together (to strand them together so you won't have a hole), then pick up and knit with your second color. Be sure to strand across the back of your work whenever you have two or more colors involved.
You don't cut them out, you "drop" them (let the yarn hang down not used) until you need that color again, and this is when you pick it back up.

You only use two colors in any given row. The colors change row to row, but you never use more than two at a time. Don't fret about the colors you're not using, just let them hang around.

As for adding a new color. Say at row five, you now need brown and pink. You used color brown at row 2, so you drop the yarns you were using, and pick up brown. You have not yet used the color pink. You will add this to your tangled mess of colors of yarn hanging around waiting to be used. This can be done in lots of ways. All you need to do is have a small ball of pink and wrap the tail of the ball around the brown color to get it attached to your work (it is not essential to learn a "technique" just wrap the pink around the brown once, leaving at least an inch hanging, which you will later weave in after the knitting is completed). Only attach the pink when you are ready to use it.

Say that this pattern for row five is knit 2 brown, knit 1 pink. After the knit 2 in brown, wrap the pink strand around the brown and knit the pink yarn once. it will now be incorporated into your work. Then you can follow the pattern. Knit 2 brown, drop the brown and knit 1 pink, drop the pink and knit two in brown.

Say row 6 is also brown and pink, but row 7 is orange and pink. Drop the brown at the beginning of row seven and pink up your orange (which we will say was used in row 2). Begin knitting as the pattern shows.

This is the basic way to knit stranded technique. Other than this, all you have to worry about is tension when bringing up yarn from lower rows and from carrying the yarn in a row. If you knit five in brown, and then pick up your pink to knit two, it's easy to pull the pink too tight.

I think this is a pretty good tutorial. It shows how knit holding both working strands at the same time (I only hold the actual working yarn and let the other drop). It also explains very well what I mean about carrying yarn.
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