fair isle color strand knitting sweaters

Basically, there are three styles of color strand knitting. With Fair Isle and Scandanavian knitting, the yarn is carried across the back of your work. Intarsia knitting is switching between colors using bobbins that hang behind your work.

Color Strand Knitting

  • Fair Isle
  • Scandanavian
  • Intarsia

Scandanavian and Fair Isle are both color strand knitting styles. Basically, they are the same in terms that they are both worked carrying the yarn across the back of your work. Each with their own individual techniques.

Fair Isle comes from islands off the Scotland coast and is known for its muted colors, two-ply shetland wool, and symmetrical designs. It can easily be knit in the round or as flat work.

fair isle color strand knitting sweaters

Scandanavian is another type of color strand knitting that comes from areas of the world such as Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. It looks different than Fair Isle by using 3-ply yarns, large asymmetrical designs, and bright colors.

norwegian sweater

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Video from Knitting Help

Intarsia Knitting is yet another type of color strand knitting that paints a picture. For example a heart, star, crown, etc. Using bobbins of color that hang from the back of your work. You knit a specific color, drop that color, then pick up the next color, then drop, and so on. Twisting in the colors so not to create holes in your work.

Intarsia color strand knitting sweater

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Video from Knit Picks

I have included two videos that should help explain in detail what each style of knitting is and when it is used. Intarsia would be the best style to use on the picture graphs in our 52-week sampler afghan. However, you can work in the fair isle style if you prefer. Make sure to carry your loops loosely across the back when knitting large areas of one color. It’s also a good idea to twist or trap the yarn under the other yarns as you knit.

Below are a few pics of some color strand projects of mine.

Happy Knitting!

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