Amazing work by Fair Isle Knitting students

For the last few months I have been teaching Fair Isle knitting to a group of nine ladies for two hours every Monday evening in the local Primary school in Hamnavoe.  The night classes were run as part of the Adult Learning section of Shetland Islands council and ran for ten weeks in total.

The aim of the classes were to facilitate the learners to design and knit their own mini Fair Isle jumper, they experienced all the steps required to make a full-sized jumper and then they can use the knowledge gained to create their own full-sized Fair Isle jumper.  We used the Shetland method of cast on and knit until it looks right!

They all did extremely well and I was really proud of what they achieved.

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A couple of ladies had already attended the nightclass which was run by Wilma Pottinger so were knitting larger garments.

These photos give a brief idea of the things we covered during the class:

Elsa cutting the steeks in the armholes of her jumper:


And the finished little jumper:

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 Hannah picking up stitches for her neckband:


Margaret’s beautiful full sized jumper:


Diane has just dropped the stitches for her neck:


I really enjoyed teaching these sessions and will miss them!  I am planning to do another 10 week night class later in the year and also short sessions so watch this space.  I would be interested to hear from anyone who would like to do short workshops, I am looking for suggestions for topics to cover, please email me or comment below.  I am also hoping to be able to offer classes to visitors, so even if you are planning to be visiting Shetland, please get in touch!














3 thoughts on “Amazing work by Fair Isle Knitting students

  1. I wish I could visit! And take your lovely class! I’m from the United states and love to do fàir isle and color knitting- but I’m struggling with how to do the cross overs for floats without my yarn tangling impossibly.. And without making the yarn balls annoyingly small so I have to tie on all the time. I knit right hand over and can use left hand for second color but for floats I end up twisting around the other color and then, Bobs your uncle, a long twisting tight mess that I have to untangle every two rounds🙀


    1. Hi I knit my Fair Isle with two hands too – the background colour is always in my right hand and the pattern colour is always in my left. I keep one ball of yarn at my right side and the other at my left, that way the yarn never tangles. The pattern colour (in the left hand) should always go under the other colour. I’m not sure how you are twisting the other colour! I’m sure it will just “click” and you will see how to keep them separate. Good luck!


  2. GOOD ON YOU for that great inspiration to all who want to do this work. I use the 2 balls of yarn in the same way you do because otherwise………………SNARL! Keep up the good work 🙂


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