Fair Isle knitting is a techinique which involves knitting with two colors of yarn at the same time. Think of Norweigian or ski sweaters. It has become one of my favorite ways to knit. I love choosing colors, designing and tweeking paterns and seeing my project through. (Although this can easily take six months.) Fair Isle involves quite a bit of concentration, because the pattern must be constantly followed. However, it is easier than it looks.
Basically one color is held in each hand and you knit with the right-hand or left-hand depending on the color called for in the pattern. If there are two stitches or less of each color in a row that's it. If there are three or more stitches of the same color in a row there are two techniques that must be learned to "wrap" the yarn so there are not long loose sections of yarn on the back of the project.
So the jump from knitting to Fair Isle knitting involves; one color of yarn in each hand and two yarn wrapping techniques.
The pattern I used to make the mittens came from Magnificent Mittens & Socks by Anna Zilboorg.
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