Learn to knit a fair isle hat taught by Cait St. George!
My name is Cait St. George, and I'm the manager at Cream City Yarn! You probably chatted with me on your last visit to CCY. I love to chat about yarn, fiber, sheep, knitting, crochet, you name it! I also have a deep love of color work and fair isle knitting. I was just about to cast on my next fair isle hat when I realized I probably could be teaching this as I go along!
Monday, April 6- Cast On/Brim
Wednesday, April 8- Body of the Hat
Friday, April 10- Top of the Hat
Even if you're a newer knitter you've probably seen fair isle knitting. Magical knit pieces that have colorful pictures KNIT IN to the fabric. How are they doing it? What the secret? It's probably SUPER hard right? Wrong. You can do it, and I'm going to teach you how. If you can knit and purl with confidence and you have a little patience you'll be just fine.
I'm going to be using the pattern "Katie's Kep" a free pattern provided for the year of 2020 by the lovely people over at Shetland Wool Week who release a new free hat pattern every year to promote their small corner of the world and the amazing knitters and sheep who live there. Check out their website, I'll bet you'll fall in love with them like I have.
If you click on this link --> Katie's Kep (Free Hat Pattern) you'll find the free pattern I will be using in this class. You could use a different hat pattern if you like, the techniques I'm going to teach you can be applied on any fair isle hat, but I'm using this one.
You've downloaded your pattern. Now its time for YARN! Yay!
I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to knitting fair isle patterns from Shetland, you can use other yarns I won't get mad I promise, but I'll explain why I use Shetland wool with Shetland Fair Isle Patterns.
First of all what is a "Shetland"?
Shetland is a small group of islands off the north tip of Scotland. While it is located in the North Sea, it is still part of the United Kingdom. It is also home to some fabulous knitters, a breed of sheep that has the same name of the islands they inhabit, and an amazing knitting tradition. It is hard not to fall in love with Shetland as a knitter.
Shetland sheep are a hardy little breed of sheep. Yes! Just like dogs there are many breeds of sheep! You've probably heard of Merino sheep, long hailed as the softest wool- but the world is FULL of different kinds of sheep each with a different quality to their wool. Learning about sheep breeds and their wool is like learning about different wines, you can spend your lifetime learning about them! But back to Shetland Sheep. These little puffballs have been wandering these islands for hundreds of years. Adapting to the harsh conditions of the Shetland Islands for as long as they've lived there. Think about the weather there... these sheep are cozy outside during all of it, which means if you're wearing something made out of their wool you're going to be cozy in all sorts of weather too.
The other cool thing about Shetland wool is that it is practically made to be used in color work knitting. It has a slightly sticky nature to it that helps create a seamless looking garment when knit in a fair isle pattern, almost like it was all one ball of yarn when you knit it. Magic right? It also comes in hundreds of colors, choosing colors for a project made of Shetland wool is like staring at a wall of paint chips before you paint a room... your possibilities are endless.
You probably want to get your hands on some Shetland wool now right? Good news. Cream City Yarn has it. We carry a well known brand called Jamieson & Smith. --> You can purchase yours online from CCY HERE
Cream City Yarn also has made kits if you're nervous about picking your own colors for this project. Katie's Kep Kits
Do you want to learn more about picking yarn for this project? Watch my video about it!
photo credits: Jameison & Smith, Google Maps, & Shetland Wool Week