2 April 2017

Crash Course in Fair Isle Knitting

Back in November of last year my friend Tammy revealed her gorgeous La Benaize Hat with the promise that the pattern would be released 'next week'.  I was excited as fair isle knitting was on my list of things to learn.  Tammy knows that I LOVE to learn new things so linked me to a very good tutorial by Staci Perry of Very Pink Knits which you can find here.   I had a quick look, enough to get the concept, see how the different yarn colours are worked across the rows and that was it.  I didn't need to really watch it until the pattern was available.

Life Happens!  "Next week" became March!

On a Sunday evening there was a discussion about the pattern being ready for release the next weekend, throw it out there and hope for the best.  In the past I had offered to test knit for Tammy and now was definitely the time for a test knit!

I was up to my eyeballs in a secret project but desperately needed a break from my own expectations of deadlines so this was a welcome change for a few days.  I had all the materials I required, I remembered most of what I'd seen in the tutorial, I was ready. I started on the band straight away, ran into tiredness, made a mistake and decided it could wait until the morning.

You know what it's like when you are working on something and just can't put it down?  This was one of those projects!  I'd never knitted with Scheepjes Stonewashed yarn before, and it is a dream to knit with!  I'd never worked fair isle, nor with charts, but this was SO easy!!

The pattern, thankfully, has a very easy chart to read.  To make it easier I had these gorgeous stitch markers that I'd received earlier in the week from Nerissa of Miss Neriss that I was able to use to mark the repeats.

All through Monday I was sending Tammy progress shots so that she could check if I was on track and that my tension, which usually runs on the tight side, was working up loose enough to show the pattern work.

Now I'm pretty sure both Tammy and I fell off our chairs when I had this completed at around midnight on the Monday evening. It was the most insane, almost record breakingly quick test knit everrrrrrrrrr! I had my friend Niamh cheering me on over Facebook Messenger and toward the end it was like a race with myself to get it done "15 rows to go" "6 rows of pattern", "onto the decrease".

I LOVE this hat!  I love that fair isle isn't the hideously complicated thing that I'd imagined it to be.

I'm going to knit ALL the fair isle things!

Not really!  But I am absolutely going to knit more La Benaize hats after my daughter's friends saw it and asked if I'd make them one.

 Scheepjes Stonewashed 811, 818, 821

 Scheepjes Stonewashed 822, 809, 812

These are two of the colour combinations I've chosen so far. Aren't those colours gorgeous!!

You can find the La Benaize pattern on Canadutch or on Ravelry.

Scheepjes Stonewashed yarn is available through Scheepjes Retailers or Wool Warehouse*

If you do make one of these gorgeous hats I'd love to see them on social media.  You can use #labenaizehat.  Be sure to tag @canadutch too!

*affiliate link


  1. Replies
    1. You are more than welcome!! I love the insanity when you and I get together for things like this! <3


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