A Fair (Isle) Start

The Celtic Harbor Hat is my first fair isle project. Other than a few horizontal stripes here and there, Subway Knitter doesn't do colorwork.

This is all about to change. The Celtic Harbor Hat has 24 rows of fair isle consisting of two colors: the hat's main color, and one contrasting yarn. I consulted Vogue Knitting for some fair-isle pointers and away I went.

A few hours later I had this:

FirstFair.jpg

Not too bad, except that it's all wrong. Luckily, I was in the presence of some more experienced knitters, who told me that those Vouge Knitting instructions (telling me to wrap the yarn every few stitches) are crap. Simply knit with one color, drop it, pick up the next yarn and create a long float (by stretching the stitches just knit) and continue knitting.

Hey, I can do that! What more: doing it this way moves along much, much faster than the wrappy way. I should be done with the chart soon.

BetterFair.jpg
 

I can't wait to see it! If, however, the back of the stranding weren't going to be permanently covered up with the hem, I would keep my floats to six or seven stitches by wrapping occasionally.

Lookin' good. Although, on things like mittens and gloves, I like to wrap a la Philosopher's Wool - keeps the floats safe from inadvertant fingers.

you such a talented knitter and a colorwork virgin? shocking!

i'm with claudia on this one too...i wrap my floats if they're too long to keep things nice and neat.

Nice! Yeah, the wrapping is a pain in the ass and totally unneccessary. Although I have found, in my severely limited experience, that it does help if you wrap over long floats and at the last stitch at the end of a DPN/circular needle.

Wow, looks great and you got some wonderful fair isle advice.

Looks nice. I found that it usually works best to wrap if there's more than 4 or 5 stitches between color changes, but it's all a matter of individual taste. Just make sure that whatever method you use, the tension is loose enough to prevent puckers, but tight enough to prevent holes.

Great job with your first Fair Isle project. The inside is looking good -- how's the outside looking??

 

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