Fair isle question

I’m not new here, just forgot my old username and password…doh! Must be old age (lol).

I’ve been doing a lot of fair isle in felting, where gauge doesn’t matter, but I’m wondering if folks use smaller needles for fair isle in fabric that doesn’t get felted?

I tend to knit very loosely in fair isle because throwing (English style) is not my normal knitting technique…


You can use whatever needle size suits your yarn that gives you the fabric you like. The main thing is to keep your strands loose so they don’t pucker, which you already know, I’m sure.

Since stranded knitting is essentially doubled, a little looser stitch might keep the fabric from being stiff.

I think it depends on how detailed the fair isle is. I’ve noticed that intricate patterns are usually done on size 0 or 1 needles. Some simple Fair Isle is done on size 5 needles. It also depends on the article you’re making, like hats and sizing. You could probably do it on larger needles but might have to adjust gauge and figure out how many panels in the design you need. It also depends on the yarn. The intricate patterns require fingering weight. I’ve seen some done in bulky yarns with size 10 1/2 needles. Experiment. If it’s a flop, your practice pieces will make great cat blankets. My cats love the practice pieces with scrap yarn I did when I was first learning. If you have no pets, your local animal shelter would be thrilled to get them.