|Fair Isle Knitting Pattern|
The traditional Fair Isle pattern utilizes horizontal strips of repeating patterns and motifs that were originally worked in the black, grey and brown colors of the native sheep breeds. Knitting patterns utilized designs from nature like rams horns or ferns, or simple shapes like crosses and diamonds. Colors are spaced evenly to avoid large loops of fabric that could catch on other clothing or fingers on the inside of the piece. Fair Isle garments are often quite warm because of the dense layering of yarn. Besides the stranded nature of the work, these patterns use only plain stitches and are straightforward to begin with once you understand the process. Fair Isle sweater patterns can be joined together in the traditional manner where the body of the sweater is constructed in the round and sleeves are sewn in place. Holes are then cut for the arm openings in the tube of the sweater body.
Fair Isle patterns typically use a stockinet stitch, where the knit side is on the right side. If you wish to continue for a lengthy stretch in a particular color, catching floats of the yarn is necessary every 5 or 6 stitches to prevent long, loose loops inside. Twisting the color you are not using around the color you are currently using periodically helps prevent these loops from becoming problematic. Take care when twisting highly contrasted colors together, this can cause pieces of the wrong color to show through the front and muddy the appearance of the garment.