Claudia Krisniski 59 Spring
Road Hudson NY 12534 (518)828-4554
A (Rambling) Pattern for the WEE FAIR ISLE
OK....here is a run down of the needles and
gadgets that I suggest you gather:
Needles that will result in looser knitting for this project. The
thing that often dooms stranded projects from the start is tight
knitting. So, if you are working stranded knitting for the first
let's purposely work away from that. If you are a tight knitter;
needles one or two sizes larger than recommended for your yarn. If
knit to gauge; get needles one size larger. If you are a loose
use the needles suggested. If you know yourself, and have done
satisfactory stranded knitting in the past, you will know what
needles to aim for. I have used Naturespun sport
in the past, and I know that size 5 needles are what I will use
So....16-20" circular # 5 ...and #3 (bottom
ribbing and neck bands)
double pointed needles #3 (cuffs)
8.75" circular #6 (there is no #5 available in that length that
of) OR double pointed needles #5
a darning needle
a magnetic board (VERY helpful for following the chart we will
a couple of ring markers
stitch holders or waste yarn for underarms
Colors: MC = main color = Butterfly Blue
= darkest contrasting color = Royal Purple
= medium contrasting color = Sapphire
= lightest contrasting color = Purple Splendor
= bright color = Peruvian Pink
This Wee Fair Isle Sweater will measure 21.5" around on the
This puts it in the size 6 -9 months category, so we'll make body
sleeve lengths and yoke depth to match. Interestingly enough, this
makes a perfect size for an adult hat! So, if you find yourself
baby to knit for, this can easily become headgear...I will add
directions for this at the
K = knit
P = purl
PM = place marker
** = repeat directions between ** over and over again until you
the end of the row/round
My working gauge is 6.75 sts=1". From past experience with this
know it will block out nicely at 6 sts=1", so I am planning the
based on the 6 sts=1" gauge.
As I whined about before, the corrugated ribbing tended to curl
me. I ended up using a few suggestions sent to this list, and
the PURL side of the long-tail cast on edge, using the smaller
the cast on ONLY, then switching to the larger needle starting
round 1. This has resulted in an edge that looks great and stays
So, here we go!
With #3 circular 16" needle and MC, cast on 130 sts with long tail
( Here is a great web site illustrating that cast on:
DO NOT JOIN, but using #5 circular 16" needle, work the
row flat as follows:
Using DCC and MC, work first row of Corrugated Rib:
*P 1 MC, K 1 DCC* repeat across. At the end of the first row, join
knitting into a circle, remembering to keep the cast on edge
floor all the way around so there is no twist in the edge, and:
PM, P 1 (which is the first stitch of Round 2)
Round 2: *P 1 MC, K 1 DCC*
Round 3: *P 1 MC, K 1 MCC*
Round 4: *P 1 MC, K 1 MCC*
Round 5: *P 1 MC, K 1 LCC*
Round 6: *P 1 MC, K 1 LCC*
Round 7: *P 1 MC, K 1 MCC*
Round 8: *P 1 MC, K 1 MCC*
Round 9: *P 1 MC, K 1 DCC*
Round 10: *P 1 MC, K 1 DCC*
Corrugated ribbing is done. With MC, work one round in P.
Prepare to start the Spring Star Chart. DEALING WITH ENDS
Yes, all those ends. They are a given in stranded knitting.
finds their own ways of dealing with them and here are a few: (I
to add in any other suggestions, so please send them along!)
The first thing that is crucial in fastening down ends is to
they do not work themselves loose during the wearing of the
and secondly (if they do), that there is enough yarn to work
the problem. Different yarns act differently in wearing
so you need to consider that. The superwash wools I have used
slippery, as are the mercerized cottons. Both tend to work
loose, so I
knot any ends left. Knots have a way of working loose and of
the outside of the sweater over time, so the fewer in the
This scenario does not lend itself to frequent color changes!
knots, I use at least 4" of yarn. I have found the 4" rule to be
for all ends, so I have adopted it for all finishing.
Now, let's consider what wool yarn does. It's natural clinginess
to absorb and hide ends over time. With washing the ends
into the garment just enough to stay put for decades. This
much loved by stranded knitters everywhere as it lends itself to
easiest of finishing techniques as no knots are necessary. Some
cling more than others, and shetland wool has this lovely
that is practically like velcro.
So, when you have no knots to worry about, you can play the
game with your ends, and that is what this post is all about.
First of all, as this Wee Sweater is worked in rounds, you will
beginning and end of each round. When you are making a chart,
the Spring Star, there will be rounds/rows that look odd as you
and begin the next for the color progression will not match
knitting spirals itself for a few stitches. I chose a chart that
line as the first stitch of the round, so the "x" will look
one side, but not be too noticeably off if you do nothing. The
for the Sticks and Slants chart (which is a Faroe Island design,
way). When we get to the sleeves and the yoke, there may
be a few more charts that we can play with to better illustrate
"moving stitch" principle.
But the point with the ends is this: if you leave 4" of old
begin with 4" of new color, you can use a darning needle to
rows "in line" with each other as you are finishing by darning
of the last stitch in as a duplicate stitch over the first
continuing behind as you hide your end.
This may be repeated with the other end. That is one way.
Another way is to "weave in as you go" and this has my vote. If
weaving in does not go well, you can easily pull out the woven
thread it through a darning needle, and work it back in
you have nothing to lose. This method is very similar to the
weaving in you do when you are carrying 2 colors along in
knitting and need
to get one woven in as it "floats" behind. The only difference
do it on EVERY stitch of the first round until you run out of
it 4" from the END of the round, weaving in the other end as you
approach the beginning of the round. Judy Gibson's site has a
of this: Weaving
ends as you go
So, in an ideal world, you cut any end you will not be using on
next round to 4" and weave it in as you go. But WAIT....what if
will be using that color in 2 more rounds? 4 rounds? 6 rounds?
it? Why indeed....
Welcome to the world of the Real (practical? lazy?) Knitter. I
charter member. I am The One who gets third prize in any
competition because I (shudder) carry my unused yarns up the
the sweater. As you carry the unused color, you have a royal
yarn ends to deal with, but they do not need anything from you
to be carried as neatly and as loosely as can be; woven down
rounds behind a used color; AND, and this is crucial...be woven
and ready to knit one stitch BEFORE you need it. This translates
Thinking Ahead as you approach the beginning of any round. If
a color you will need....you need to fish it out of the woven
at the beginning of the round...bring it up and weave it BEHIND
color one stitch before the end of the round (or one stitch
will need to use it). This puts the tension of that yarn back
proper mode and off you go.
.After the corrugated ribbing is done, and one round is purled in
Main Color, count the stitches, to be sure there are 130. This
is equally divisible by 26, which is the repeat of the
The body of this teeny sweater will be 7" from cast on edge to
underarm. After working one repeat of the chart, I have found that
filler stitch will fit nicely into the sweater. This will be a
break for the eye between the chart at the hem and the new charts
decided upon later for the yoke area.
So, after the Spring Star Chart, work 2 rounds of Main Color, and
begin the Sticks and Slants Chart. The
length to the underarms will be 7", so this will take almost no
time at all. (Be sure to stop after
round 5 or 10 of the chart has been completed.)
(If you want to turn this into a hat, work Sticks and Slants until
knitting measures 8" and follow Hat Finish instructions below.)
The filler pattern is a traditional Faroe Island color pattern
found in a few books:
Nordic Knitting--S Pagoldh
Knitting In The Nordic Tradition--V Lind
I opted to keep the filler pattern in a dark colorway, allowing
fair isle borders a chance to pop out in the final sweater. The
and Slants chart is located on the same web page as above.
So work around and finish off the body. If you leave it on a
needle after it is done, it will be a simpler matter when the
round of sleeves and body begins.
Work chart (s) until hat measures 8". End after a Round 5 or 10 of
Sticks and Slants chart has been completed. Work one
round in Main Color. Divide sts evenly on 2 circular needles in
preparation for grafting the top together. With Main Color
sts together across top. Darn in ends.
Thread darning needle with a piece of new yarn at least twice as
as the row you need to work. Work from right to left.
On front needle:
1. Pass tapestry needle through as if to knit, drop st off needle
2. Pass tapestry needle through as if to purl, leave st on needle
On back needle:
1. Pass tapestry needle through as if to purl, drop st off needle
2. Pass tapestry needle through as if to knit, leave st on needle
When last we left our Wee Sweater, the body had just been
to 7" from the cast on edge. This we will put aside as we make 2
While creating this sweater, I have relied on Elizabeth
Percentage System to come up with numbers for all the sweater
measurements. Her books are fabulous, and she was among if not The
First in our time to work with and explain the designing of
based on a Body Number or "K" and a knitting gauge. Way cool.
For babies, the sleeves cast on needs to be 30% of the body
We will then increase to 40% at the cuffs and knit evenly up to
underarm depth, which will be 7" to match the body. So, the body
worked on 130, the sleeve cast on will be 40. Make the cuff (to
the bottom ribbing), and then increase 10 to 50 sts in the purl
before beginning a color chart.
All right. We have 50 sts to work with and need a chart that will
I have found one that looks a little like a four leaf clover to
I will christen it the Spring Clover Chart. (These charts are all
found in Alice Starmore's much beloved and much used Book of
Knitting.) Barbara will be posting this chart soon to the project
After the Spring Clover chart is done, with the Main Color work 2
rounds in knit, increasing 2 sts evenly in the last round to 52
Work the Sticks and Slants chart until the sleeve measures 7".
So make this wee sleeve on double pointed needles, or be brave and
the little sleeve on a little circular needle. It measures 8.3"
so the smaller circulars that are 8.75" should work nicely. And
are finished with one, make another. Leave both of them on a
needle (of any length) that is smaller than the one you worked on.
will make the attaching of them easier.
For those of you who have been waiting for this sweater to
going, please know that the yoke knitting is starting
last evening going over the numbers and design of what has
done, and am poised and ready to launch the next
phase. I have chosen 3 small different charts to work into
yoke, and will do the first one tonight. Pictures will then
The next step is to identify the underarm areas on the "tube" we
made for the body, and to remove 11 sts from the "tube" at these
places....each underarm. Put these sts on a holder. Then find each
sleeve, and remove 11 sts at each "underarm" area and do the same.
will put 44 sts in total on holders. If all the math works
sleeve 1...52 sts on sleeve - 11 underarm = 41 left
sleeve 2...52-11 = 41
130 sts on body - 11 at each underarm (-22) = 108 left
....54 for front and 54 for back
So, join all the sleeve sts and body together on the big needle as
follows: Place a Beginning Of The Round Marker (BORM) (which
become the back left shoulder (as one would wear it) and knit
the sts of one sleeve. Then...knit across the sts of the body
front...then knit across the sts of the second sleeve...then knit
across the sts of the back. You should now have all the sts on the
needle...be at the BORM. The stitch count should be 190 sts.
1. Work through chart # 1, 7 rounds, Spring Clover (the same one
used on the sleeves). Work one round in the background color, work
second round in the same color decreasing 46 sts as follows: *k2,
k2tog* 46 x.= 144 sts
2. Work through chart #2, Spring Diamond and Clover, 5
Work 1 round in background color and work a second round in the
color decreasing 32 sts as follows: *k2, k2tog* 32x =112 sts.
not an evenly decreased round....at the midpoint of each sleeve,
sts evenly to balance the decreases).
3. Work through chart #3, Anthills, 3 rounds. Work 1 round in background color and work a second
round in the same color decreasing 28 sts as follows: *k2, k2tog*
84 sts. (This makes a VERY large neck, but very easy to slip on
With smaller 16" circular needle, knit all sts for 2" and bind off
loosely. Voila! You're done.