Fair Isle frustration--please help!

I watched Amy’s videon on the stranding method for knitting with two colors, and I understand how to do that part. Here’s where my frustration is. I am knitting in the round with my main color (MC). I need to knit one row with my contrast color (CC), then do the second row alternating MC and CC (the Fair Isle part), then a third row with CC, and finally, return to knitting with MC.

When I began that three row sequence (the stripe row of CC, the Fair Isle part of MC and CC, and that last row of CC), it left a slight hole in my knitting, and I don’t know why. It almost looked like I had dropped a stitch (like a nylon’s “run”), but I hadn’t–all my stitches were on the needle–and once I returned to knitting as usuall with MC, everything looked beautiful and was fine.

So what did I do wrong? :shrug: Is there a trick to changing colors when knitting in the round that I didn’t know about to prevent this from happening? I’ve never had trouble with knitting in the round before.

Is the hole where you switched colors? Maybe you should have twisted them intarsia style. It’s hard to say without actually seeing it.:think:

Ingrid may be right - I had that exact problem as well when I first started Fair Isle (which was actually just a week or so ago) and it was because I didn’t twist them around each other. It seems like that would fix your problem.
Also (you may already know this, but I’ll add it just in case) when you’re doing a whole row of the MC or the CC, you don’t have to strand the other color in the back of the whole row. You can leave it at the start of the row and just carry it up the side as you do your rows of just one color.

Good luck! :smiley:

You should twist, I have herd that it is not always necessary, but when I do it, it looks much better when I twist the two, or, on the knit side, I drop the old color and pick up the new color FROM UNDER THE OLD COLOR and then knit on. This acrually dose the same as the twist.

Just another guy who knits

I have never needed to twist when doing Fair Isle, but I don’t do it often. Maybe the need to twist is gauge and/or yarn dependent. Isn’t it possible that some traditional knitting techniques need to be modified if you are not using a traditional wool at a fairly fine gauge, as did the originators of the style?

That could be very true. There may be tiny holes in traditional FI knitting, but you’d never see them.:shrug:

Are you sure it is not just that the first stitch in the new colour is loose because it hasn’t been woven it - you just started knitting with it?

I think what happened is exactly what you all have said–I didn’t twist the colors. I tried it again twisting the colors, and voila! It turned out fine. I feel kind of dumb about making a mistake like that, but at least I know what to do from now on. Seems like how I learn most of my new knitting techniques (by making mistakes!)! :teehee:

Thanks everybody for your help! :muah:

Actually, I didn’t know this, but before you made your post, I was sitting there thinking, “Do I [I][U]really[/U][/I] have to carry this [B][U]whole[/U][/B] strand the entire circumference of my knitting???” I figured I’d give carrying the strand up the side a shot and see what happened, and lo and behold, it worked! (see how well my laziness and trepidation paid off for me in that situation!) Thank you for this hint–I’m glad it’s a “real” method and not just the invention of my own unwillingness to strand that color through the whole row!

I thought the same at first too (the stitch was too loose after switching colors), but even after I knitted the three row repeat of that Fair Isle pattern, it didn’t get any better, and once I switched back to my MC, everything was fine again. It just didn’t look like that loose stitch of when you first change colors to me; somehow, it looked different to me. I was hoping the problem was just because it was a bit loose because that was easy enough to fix, but I wasn’t sure that was the case.

Twisting makes the difference. I’ve only done one, and I had to frog it because I didn’t follow Amy’s advice and make sure not to make it too tight when changing colors in order not to pucker.

Here it is, everyone thinks I’m such a genius, and it was SOOOO easy really!

Dog sweaters

Ingrid, will you please explain “twisting” the yarn? :??


It’s just a matter of holding the old yarn over to the left and bringing the new color up from under it. It automatically twists this way.