I’m going to show you a two color knitting trick that comes in handy when you’re knitting
fair isle that might just encourage you to learn some different ways of holding the yarn
when you knit.
First up, I want to give you a link to a video here, where I slowly describe the three common
ways that people hold the yarn when they knit.
One being right handed throwing, another being right handed flicking, which isn’t as common,
and the other being left handed continental.
If you can combine flicking and continental when you’re knitting fair isle, you never
have to drop the yarn to readjust, and the fair isle knitting goes much more smoothly
Let’s take a look.
Here I have a little fair isle sample knit up.
Normally when we knit fair isle, most patterns will have you knitting in the round, in a
tube, either with circular needles or with double pointed needles.
But I’m going to show you this on a little flat piece of knitting.
So, to get started, we have two colors of yarn going here at once.
And the normal way for someone who knits right handed, would be to knit with the yarn they
need – whoops.
And then drop that, and then pick up the other color and knit with it, and then drop that
and pick up the other color – it does end up going pretty slowly.
Now, the way you can do this if you can both flick and knit continental is you’ll want
to hold the main color of yarn, that being green in this sample, in the hand you’re
most comfortable knitting with.
That for me is the right hand.
So I’ll be flicking with this hand, and knitting continental with this other hand.
Which I can do, but I’m not quite as good at doing.
So, I never, I never have to drop the yarn.
I can just knit with the yarn that I need as I come up to it.
My hands are a little sticky on these needles right now.
Too much hand lotion!
You see that?
So, I’m better at flicking, so I’ll flick, flick, flick with the green, and then knit
continental with the white.
See how much faster that goes?
You can also do this if you’re knitting traditional right handed way.
Where you let go of the needle to wrap the yarn.
But you do sort of have to know how to knit continental to do this.
Okay, so there’s a right side row.
This takes some practice.
But I would suggest maybe knitting up a sample, maybe something like this, where you can practice
with both hands, and giving it a try.
Because once you get it, fair isle knitting is so much nicer.
Now this also works on a purl side row, but very few patterns will have you knitting fair
isle on a purl side row.
I happen to not be very good at purling continental.
So there’s something else I do when I encounter a purl side row with fair isle.
And I have to be able to flick to do this.
What I do is I cross one yarn over the other, making an X.
And put my first finger up in there like that.
Then I purl across as needed, and if you’re flicking – this might be hard to see because
the two yarns are kind of blocking each other.
I just use the yarn color that I need, because you see that they’re coming from two different
sides of my fingers?
So if I need the green, I flip from the back, if I need the white, I flip from the front.
See how handy that is?
And never having to let go of the needle to switch around does save you a lot of time.
Whoops, I’m losing the tension on this.
Just make an X over the top of my finger again, and keep going.
That’s it! A couple of two color knitting tricks.