Thursday, August 04, 2011

Fair Isle Colorwork Coasters

What is Fair Isle knitting? With other names like stranded knitting, Jacquard, intarsia, mosaic knitting, it's no wonder the question comes up all the time.

Well, it is the traditional name, named after a small island off the coast of Scotland where knitters were known for their skill with the technique. I have wanted to learn this type of knitting method for years, and this is the most common and best technique to learn when only 2 colors per row and alternates colors frequently to create small patterns of color--usually 5 stitches or less.

Lucky for me, in the latest issue of "Creative Knitting," Lisa Ellis inspired me to try out my new skills with her four coaster pattern designs, "Colorwork Coasters."

Actually, it was much easier than I imagined. The trick is to carry the main color over the contrasting color, and the contrasting color always under the main color. The reverse side of your project will have a cleaner appearance.

I think these coasters came out pretty decent for my first attempt of Fair Isle. Thank you, Lisa Ellis, for introducing me to this beautiful technique.

CREDITS: CREATIVE KNITTING, September 2011, "First Fair Isle," An Introduction to Stranded Colorwork Knitting, pg. 36. Go to, sign in with limited-time access code of KD8339.