Lessons in Fair Isle knitting

I’ve started many blogs. Crafted just the right name that isn’t already used. Deliberated over the theme. Like setting up a perfect work space ready to be filled with ideas. In the same way I collect blank notebooks. I have mounds of perfect notebooks with high quality paper hand crafted with attention to detail. Some were quite expensive. Some are from Europe which means they are slightly different in size than what we get here making them even more special. The only problem is nothing ever feels important enough to fill them with, so they sit blank. In the same way I never quite know how to start a blog. For some reason I think if I get the thing up and running I can make it into a habit, but I’ve never been able to do it.

This is my attempt at forcing this thing into a habit. Who starts a blog in 2017? I might as well start a podcast while I’m at it and wait five years to put a daily vlog on YouTube. But I have started knitting again with a real passion, and it hasn’t showed signs of slowing yet, and I would like a record of my thoughts as I learn new techniques and ideas. This, hopefully, will be that record.

I’ve been knitting almost exclusively Fair Isle since I started back up and I started writing just one post of all the things I’ve worked on over the last nine months or so and it became so long I thought maybe it would be better to break it up into projects, or hopefully more interestingly, lessons I’ve learned along the way.

It all started with a pair of socks. I saw this pattern in Interweave and had one of those ‘I have to make this right now’ moments. They weren’t even in my size, I still wanted to make them. The pattern was written for six or seven colors of sock yarn, so I went looking. I picked colors that I thought were close from the LYS and started knitting. I’ve done stranded knitting before and have figured out what method is quick for me and after changing colors just a couple times I realized the colors were all the same saturation. There was no background or foreground. Everything was the same value even though they were different colors, which meant it looked like mud. I ended up going back and only using two colors that had some contrast.

Lesson 1 in Fair Isle: Squint, color doesn’t matter as much as value. Think of an oil painting up close.

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