Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fair Isle Knitting/Ilga Socks By Nancy Bush

I often like to have a mindless knitting project that I can just tote with me. I also like to have a project that is challenging and a learning opportunity.

This blogger has great instructions and links to learn Fair Isle. Be sure to check out this link as there is an absolute wealth of information for any type of knitting. Not sure why but I am not able to create shortcut hyperlinks in Blogger lately. Any solutions?

I was knitting Fair Isle as a teenager. I wish I still had some of those knitted projects to compare my approach.

Notice the chart above. I have a sticky note with the row I am working on just below the edge of the note. This allows me so see the row below and quickly tell if I am making an error on the row I am working on. In other words, I am looking at two rows at a time. It allows for quicker knitting.

Fair Isle has a double layer of yarn as you are carrying the various colors across the row. Intarsia involves blocks of color in a single layer.

The rule of thumb for "floats" (how many stitches to carry a color not currently knitting with) is five stitches. It is to avoid toes (or fingers, if a mitten) from catching as you slide it on your foot. When working with wool, the scales of the yarn (stitches) have a tendency to nest themselves and mildly adhere to the other color. This happens with only wool. It works out very well.

The Ilga Sock pattern is from this sock book. I love the selection of patterns. I used by 40% off coupon at JoAnn's which made it very affordable.

Happy Knitting!


  1. I knitted fair isle as a teenager too!

  2. I love your work! I have to many interruptions in this house to even begin to think about knitting fair isle, but your post it is a good tip!

  3. My, those are beautiful !!! I love fair isle and have promised myself to do more of it beginning this year. Thank you for the link also !!!