Fair Isle Knitting for Beginners | Easy Method to Knit with 2 Colours | A Slow Step-by-Step Tutorial

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hello and welcome to my video all about

the fair isle knitting technique now

honestly the real reason that I got into

knitting in the first place was because

I wanted to do the fair isle knitting

technique but I didn't have the patience

to learn all different techniques I

needed in order to give it a go so what

I did was kind of a simplified version

of fair isle which Mesmer even as a

beginner I could accomplish the patterns

that I wanted to so that's what this

video is all about I'm going to teach

you the fair isle method that I used

whilst I was a beginner which meant I

could dive straight into the fair isle

technique without even having to know

both the Continental and English styles

of knitting if you've seen any other

fair isle video lessons you'll notice

that everyone uses the technique where

you use the English method for the right

hands and the continental knitting

method in the left hand this is the

quicker and more efficient way of doing

it but the way I'm going to show you

means that you don't have to learn the

second listing method before you give it

a go

now I'm just going to give you a little

fair isle introduction to start with and

then I'm going to go into the method so

what exactly is Farrell well first of

all it's a stranding technique now

stranding is the process of carrying

yarn across the back of your work so in

the fair isle technique you'll see that

on the back side of your misses work

there will be horizontal pieces of yarn

that are kind of floating across the

back of your work

these incidentally are called floats in

a fair isle pattern you may use several

different colors of yarn

however on any particular row of

fairvale they will only be one or two

colors used in that one row you never

use more than two colors per row or fair

isle Farewell produces a distinctive

repeating pattern often symmetrical

across your misses work and you'll often

find the technique used in wearable

items like jumpers and

so let's get going with the technique

for my demonstration I'm just going to

be using white and red yarn and doing a

very simple pattern to do this technique

you will need to be able to cast on and

cast off Nick and pearl and also change

the color of your yarn if you are unsure

about any of these techniques please

take a quick look at my other video

lessons as you can see I already have

done several rows of ribbing in white

send on a red stripe before going back

to the main color which is white you can

just ignore all this previous knitting

and go from just a cast on edge so all

you have to do is cast on the number of

stitches you want to use and then knit

along with me it is purely to practice

rather than creating a complete project

so the first thing I've done is knit a

few stitches with the main color and now

I'm going to join the red yarn to my

knitting to do this you can use whatever

method you like to join the new ball of

yarn in this example I'm going to do a

slip knot around the white yarn with the

red job and to do this you simply do a

slip knot like you normally would but

with the white yarn in the center the

advantage with a foot nut is that you

can slide the yarn over each other and

easily undo the knot with one pull of

the yarn on my video all about how to

knit stripes

I made a loop in the end of the new yarn

and simply worked it into the knitting

without adding any kind of knot so a few

different ways of doing it so use your

preferred method or just follow along

with this method I'm going to show you

now so to do the slip knot you simply

put the red yarn

to the white yarn like so and create a

loop in the red yarn you then bring this

part of the red yarn through the loop

and pull tight as you can see the foot

nut can move along the white yarn like

so and also be undone very easily a knot

is not absolutely necessary for adding a

new color of yarn you may prefer to do

it a different way

however the not simply keeps the yarn

tail in place and ready to be woven in

later so the first step is to slide the

knot in the red yarn all the way over to

the left and as close to the needles as

you can get it when you lift up your

needles you'll find that you have the

white working yarn and the red working

yarn as well as the loop of red yarn and

the red yarn tail just ignore the red

loop and red kale you just want to

concentrate on the working yarns which

are the pieces attached to the balls of

yarn and then you simply start knitting

with the red yarn the knot holds the red

yarn in place you don't have to worry

about it you just start knitting with

the red yarn I'm just going to do one

single stitch in red and then I'm going

to move back to the white color again to

go back to the white I take my hand

underneath the red yarn and pull the

white yarn in front of the red so I take

the white yarn under and in front of the

red yarn this gives it a little bit of

security because it sort of does a half

twist with the red yarn some people do a

full twist by wrapping one color of yarn

all the way around the other just to

make it extra secure but that's

unnecessary you really don't have to do

that it's plenty secure just doing a

half twist that I'm doing here just by

taking the white yarn under and in front

of the

read and then you simply start messing

with the white yarn again I find Farrell

quite deceptive in that the end result

often looked quite intricate but the

technique is actually quite simple so

I'm just knitting four stitches of the

white trying to not let the red loop of

yarn get in my way and then once you've

done four or five stitches in the main

color ie white in this case you can then

undo the knot in the red yarn now you

have two white stitches one red and four

white stitches so simply lay your work

down and pull on the red yarn tail to

release the nut this will stop the red

yarn getting in your way so much and

it's done its job now it's kept the red

yarn secure and now we've just got a

tail of yarn you can cut the tail now if

you wish like I am doing but make sure

you have at least six inches left

I've probably cut my little bit short

but you want more like six to eight

inches of tail left so you can weave it

into your work later and then you can

get back to knitting

and then I met one more stitch in red

yarn going into the next stitch with my

right hand knitting needle taking the

red yarn under and in front of the white

yarn and then knitting that one stitch

as I said before some people wraps the

secondary color yarn around the main

color of yarn but this really isn't

necessary and once I've done that one

red stitch I go back to doing four more

white stitches

and now I'm just going to show you the

back of the work so far because you've

done three red stitches you should have

two floats across the back of your work

these red floats are only connected to

your work where the red stitches are at

every other point they're just loose one

thing you have to note when doing Fair

Isle is to make sure that the floats

don't end up too loose or too tight to

stop the floats being too tight make

sure that you regularly spread your

stitches out when you're knitting if the

stitches remain bunched up the whole

time you're knitting the floats are most

likely to become too tight and create

puckers in your work as long as the

floats aren't too long then you

shouldn't have a problem with them being

too loose you just have to keep an eye

on the float to make sure that if there

are any problems you can remedy them

straight away so here I am just knitting

the next four white stitches and now I'm

going to show you the biggest problem

with this simplified version of Farrell

the issue is that the yarns end up

getting all twisted because what you're

doing is constantly bringing one yarn in

front of the other and this creates the

twists in the yard which can make a bit

of a tangle it's not hard to control

you just have to untwist the arms quite

regularly I've just knit an exactly the

same pattern that I was doing so that's

four white stitches one red fitch over

and over until the end of the row and

here is that finished row the next thing

you can do is weave in the red yarn tail

you don't have to do this in fact you

can leave all the yarn tails to weave in

at the end of your project if you wish

if you do want to weave it in now

however the idea of weaving in is simply

to blend in the yarn tail as well as

secure it in

you could just secure it by knitting it

anywhere into the back of your work but

it looks a lot better to blend it in and

to do this you simply follow the paths

already taken by red yarn in your

knitted work so here and just using a

yarn needle to guide the yarn tail along

the same path as previously taken by red

yarn in my work and I do about 4 or 5

loops before I then cut off the excess

of the yarn tail I'm only showing the

start of weaving in here and if you

would like to learn more please have a

look at my weaving in video on my

channel and now I'm going to do one more

row of fair isle because I'm doing

stockinette stitch all the stitches on

this second row will be purl stitches

I'd like you to note at this point that

the red yarn leaves your knitting

partway into your work not at the edge I

will come back to this point later so

all I'm doing now is seven white purl


and now I'm going to switch to the red

color to do three pill stitches to do

this the red yarn must be to the left of

the white yarn

so instead of taking the red yarn from

the right hand side and living with it

you take it under and to the left of the

white yarn the way you change yarn

colors when you're missing ferrule

should always be consistent throughout

every row so however you choose to

change yarn colors always stick to that

method there are probably other methods

of doing it but this is the way I do it

and it just seemed to work so then I do

three pill stitches with the red yarn so

once I've done those three red stitches

and move on to the white yarn again so I

take the white yarn to the left hand

side by going under the red yarn I then

pull 11 stitches in white

now this is a lot of stitches to do

without once picking up the red yarn and

the result of that is that you'll have a

really long float on the back of your

work once you start working with the red

yarn again which I'm going to

demonstrate now by doing three more red

stitches so once I've done those red

stitches you can see that the float is

now really long 11 stitches long to be

exact and that is too long to be

practical on the back of your work

because it will get caught on things so

now I'm going to demonstrate what you

should do when you've got a long length

of stitching that's in the main color

now I'm going to do 13 white pill

stitches in a row but halfway through

that I'm going to stop and twist the

white yarn together with the red yarn so

I pull six stitches in the white and

then I wrap the white yarn clockwise all

of the way around the red yarn

so I pull six stitches in white and then

I wrap the white yarn all of the way

around the red yarn this anchors the red

yarn to your knitted work and you can

see the twist here I then carry on

knitting with the white yarn and do

seven more purl stitches this makes a

total of thirteen white stitches in a

row but at the back you'll see that the

float have been broken up into two

floats one six stitches Long's and one

seven stitches long so anytime you're

doing fair isle and you've got a long

run of stitches in the main color you're

going to want to do this twist in the

arm at least once you don't really want

to have a float that's more than about

five or six stitches long just going to

finish up that row by doing three more

red stitches then eleven white three red

and then the rest of the stitches are


here you can see the fair valve happen

now taking shape on the front of your

work once you've mastered this

simplified technique as a beginner you

can then improve your skills to improve

your fairvale technique a couple of

things you can do to improve or to use

the proper technique which is the

accepted way of doing fair isle where

you use both the continental knitting

style and the English knitting style at

the same time one on each hand this will

eliminate the twisting of the arms so

you get with the technique I've just

shown you one more improvement you can

make is to make sure the yarn is carried

from the very first stitch can the very

last stitch in each row so in this

example the red yarn would be carried

along the back of your work from the

very first stitch to the very left on

every single row at one point in this

video I noted that the red yarn leaves

the back of your work partway into your

knitting so not right at the edge the

reason I pointed this out is because in

the proper technique what you're

supposed to do is carry that red yarn

all of the way across each row at the

back of your work and the way you do

this is by doing that twists that I

showed you using the white yarn to

anchor the red yarn to your work so even

if you're not using the red yarn at the

end of each row you would twist the

white yarn with the red just to carry

the red yarn to the edge of your work

these additions aren't vital forget the

Farrell pattern as I've shown you it

works perfectly well with this

simplified version however I will do a

video on the proper and accepted way of

doing Farrell and you'll be able to see

these things in action thank you very

much for watching my video and I really

hope you've managed to follow along