Flat Fair Isle Knitting Question

I am currently in the middle of making Barbara G. Walker’s Learn to Knit Afghan. I wanted to substitute a Fair Isle Square for one of the mosaic squares. The first issue that I ran into is that all of my squares are made of acrylic so it looks like I can’t knit the Fair Isle Square on circular needles since it seems that acrylic yarn will not steek (I don’t have sewing machine so I would have to use a hand sewn steek or a crocheted steed - neither of which I think would hold)

So, I decided to knit the Fair Isle Square flat, however I have read that the purl rows are difficult to do in Fair Isle. So then I got the idea to knit the purl rows backwards. I have practiced some reverse continental and my stitches look pretty good. My question is: am I going to be able to hold 2 strands of yarn in my left hand and knit backwards without the yarn becoming hopelessly tangled? Can this even be done? Does anyone have any advice or know of any videos?


Working stranded knitting is not especially difficult back and forth. You just have to follow the pattern from left to right for the ws rows. I actually think that trying to knit them backwards would be a bit more difficult.

Not all Fair Isle knitting is worked in the round. It allows you to work large sweaters in the round, using steeks for the sleeves, though there are FI sweaters that are worked back and forth after the armholes.

For an afghan square, it wouldn’t be necessary to work it in the round. Back and forth would be fine.

I agree. Back and forth is really not a problem. The pattern isn’t right in front of you on the purl rows the way it is on the knit rows but you can still knit the pattern pretty easily. You follow the chart and you can always check on the front to make sure the pattern is correct.

I agree that you can do this back and forth, front and backside if you want and it is not [I]that[/I] hard. But I’ve used backward knitting for Fair Isle flat knitting and had success with that as well. I didn’t hold both yarns in my left hand, but one in each hand working one Continental and one English. No tangling that way.