Fair Isle Mystery Hat - Part II

Okay, It's time to start the really fun stuff! Above begins the fair isle that we will be doing today.
Here is the best news...the rest of this project is entirely KNIT, that means NO PURLING, woo hoo!
If you're not sure what fair isle is, I guess now is a good time to let you know. It's just a way of changing colors in your knitting. Traditional fair isle is worked in the round, providing a RIGHT SIDE as shown above, and a WRONG SIDE, shown below. The RIGHT SIDE is very nice and clean, the WRONG SIDE shows the yarns that you have carried along the back while not using. They are called "floats." Now don't be scared, this is REALLY FUN, I promise! Let's take a look at "fair isle-ing" step by step below.

At the beginning of each round I will let you know what colors you will be using. Simply tie on the new colors on the WRONG SIDE of your work as shown below with a simple slip knot.

Side the slip knot up against your work and tighten, as shown below.

Now, take your NEW color and knit the next stitch, as shown below.

Tah dah! Now wasn't that easy?? Now let's say your pattern has you change back to the Coral color. Set down the Brown, pick up the Coral and knit the stitches just as you normally would. If the pattern calls for you to change back to Brown, set down the Coral and pick up the Brown.
Fair Isle Tips to Know
  • Always remember to keep you yarn in the back of your work.
  • When changing to a new color, do NOT pull on the stitches...maintain an even tension.
  • Here's how I keep an even tension when working with a new color...I leave a lot of space between the stitches I just worked so that the "floats" in the back are not tight.

The photo below shows the WRONG SIDE and that I knit one Brown stitch, then 5 Coral stitches, now I'm about to knit another Brown stitch. See how it will create a brown float (no pun intended) along the back?
Below is a little sample of the back of my work. See the floats that are created from changing colors?

The tutorial is over. If you feel like I've missed anything, please feel free to post your questions. Seasoned knitters, I know there is other info regarding Fair Isle...but I'm keeping this post BASIC.
Here is the next set of instructions for your hat. Usually when working a fair isle project you will be given a color chart that you will need to follow. Having the store, we have seen one too many new knitters look at a pattern see a chart and run the other way. It looks very daunting. So I will write out each row. This fair isle pattern is a six stitch repeat, you can remember six stitches....you'll just keep repeating them over and over until you hit your stitch marker. I will post a color chart in a later blog and I think it will make a lot more sense after you've worked the project.
To simplify the instructions I will call the colors:
  • Brown, Coral, Natural, Green, Blue
Round 10 (Knit 1 brown stitch, next knit 5 coral stitches) - that's six stitches total. Just keep repeat those stitches all the way around.
Round 11 In this round you will be using brown, coral, and natural. (Knit 2 brown, 1 coral, 1 natural, 1 coral, 1 brown) repeat around.
Round 12 In this round you will be using blue, brown, and coral. (Knit 1 blue, 2 brown, 1 coral, 2 brown) repeat around.
Round 13 In this round you will be using blue and brown (Knit 2 blue, 3 brown, 1 blue) repeat around.
Round 14 In this round you will be using coral, blue, and brown (Knit 1 coral, 2 blue, 1 brown, 2 blue) repeat around.
Round 15 Using only blue, knit around.
Round 16 Using only blue, knit around.
Round 17 In this round you will be using green and blue (Knit 1 green and 5 blue) repeat around.
Round 18 In this round you will be using green, blue, and brown (Knit 2 green, 1 blue, 1 brown, 1 blue, 1 green) repeat around.
Round 19 In this round you will be using natural, green and blue (1 natural, 2 green, 1 blue, 2 green) repeat around.
Round 20 In this round you will be using natural and green (2 natural, 3 green, 1 natural) repeat around.
Round 21 In this round you will be using blue, natural and green (1 blue, 2 natural, 1 green, 2 natural) repeat around.
Round 22 Using only natural, knit around.
Round 23 Using only natural, knit around.

Now move on to Mystery Hat Part III