Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Fair Isle Fun

Well I don't know if fun is really the right adjective for this, but I am getting through it. This is the promised update on the Color on Color scarf. I have started the 11th section finally. This is my first attempt at fair isle. I didn't practice on scrap yarn or anything - just jumped right in the deep end! And you can tell....

I've never been one for practice. I'd rather just get it started and learn as I go. So the fair isle sections are going to be slow for me. And I guess I never realized what an unconventional knitter I am until I read some instructions for handling the multi colors while doing fair isle knitting. Even when my friend Ruth, who taught me to knit, said I knitted "weird". I figured that I couldn't be doing anything that different. But apparently it is; I should have known. I guess my style is closest to continental. I don't wrap the yarn around my finger/hand though. I don't think I'm "picking" the yarn either. I use my left hand to kind of wrap it around the needle. I don't see any reason to change yet though. My tension is usually very consistent and I never get cramps or pains in my hands. So if its not broke...

I am glad that the scarf only has two small sections of fair isle though. This first section will be folded over and sewn together - so the back will be hidden. I think hiding the little carries on the back will increase the wearability of this scarf by preventing little snags all over the place. I am knitting this on size 5 and 2 needles. As you can see the fabric is loose, I probably should have gone down a needle size, but I'm not willing to frog at this point - onward and upward!

The yarn for this project is actually the biggest hassle. The little skeins of the Paternayan come in a three strand skein. Each skein (86 in total) have to be separated into separate strands. I've been doing this as I go. And know that there is a color change every two rows, it really slows the whole thing down. Most of the scarf is done with two strands held together on the size 5 needles. The fair isle section is done with a single strand on size 2 needles.

I guess working with this light weight yarn and small needles can be considered some extra training for my upcoming sock challenge in the Knitting Olympics. I am really enjoying this project and I think it is a challenge for me. I am a little sad to be placing it aside for a couple weeks while I work on my Olympic socks, bet I know it will be there after I go for the gold!

1 comment:

Amy said...

good job. The fair isle is tricky. I jumped in with a fair isle norweign type sweater with mohair yarn (I'll be posting WIP pics soon). tricky tricky stuff but I'm also doing a Jo Sharp vest that has fair isle. I find the trickiest part is keeping my tension loose through the fair isle stitch, which I find difficult especially if I'm purling.