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What is the difference between fair isle and stranded color work??

Tags: Fair, colorwork, isle, stranded

Views: 78

Replies to This Discussion

Marty, I'm no Fairy Godknitter by any means, but, I think they are one and the same thing.  I'm sure if I'm wrong, someone here will correct me. 

BTW, have you looked at Clara Parkes newest book yet?  The Knitter's Book of Socks  is very helpful, and answers some questions you were asking a while ago. 

I hope you are right. I was failing at trying to make it 2 different techniques!!
I find that I do have Clara Parkes sock book. I will look there for answers. Thanks.

I'm no expert, but I'll give it a shot, too.  :)  'Stranded' knitting is the broad category- meaning you knit with 2 (or more) yarns at a time- 'stranding' the unused yarn at the back of the work.  'Fair Isle' knitting is a subcategory of stranded knitting.  It would be the actual patterns of X's and O's and small peeries - the patterns that originated in Fair Isle -a tiny island that's a part of the Shetland islands (in the north of Scotland).

And after I type that, I decide I'd better not trust my memory, so this is from Wikipedia:  Traditional Fair Isle patterns have a limited palette of five or so colours, use only two colours per row, are worked in the round, and limit the length of a run of any particular colour.

Some people use the term "Fair Isle" to refer to any colourwork knitting where stitches are knit alternately in various colors, with the unused colours stranded across the back of the work. Others use the term "stranded colourwork" for the generic technique, and reserve the term "Fair Isle" for the characteristic patterns of the Shetland Islands. 

and later in the text:  Beginning in the 1990s, the term "Fair Isle" has been applied very generally and loosely to any stranded color knitting which has no relation to the knitting of Fair Isle or any of the other Shetland Islands.

Thanks Pickle. A good discussion of the history of it all too. Mary's book on Stranded Colorwork contains a very good lesson on how to do it. I think I am ready to roll!!

Pickle, your description was great and educational. 

So Marty, what are you going to work on?  Something from MSH's book? 

I am playing with MSH's Knit Along Mystery project. It appears to be small and perhaps do-able for me.
Projects in her book are WAY beyond me. Well, maybe a hat. I like to fondle the pictures and wonder at them.
They one st at a time, just like any knitting project. If you can learn to knit with obe color on a small projectk you can knit with two on a big one. I find her patterns and other colorwork to be hard to put down. I just want to see how this next color comes out!
I agree with Pickle Peg. In my mind, FI is stranded, but not all stranded colorwork is FI. I think of the traditional patterns of the Fair Isles as FI colorwork and stranded can be very unconventional and imaginative, like Mary Scott Huff's stranded colorwork patterns. There is also Norwegian or Scandinavian colorwork, which has its own style, although there is also some overlap.
It looks like Stranded color work is the technique. Whereas the pattern style is FI, Norwegian, Scandinavian, etc.
Anyway, I think I have it!!
Now to frog my swatch and start over and use MSH technique for Stranded Color Work.

I did my swatch last night... came out on the money... yea!!!

 

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