Fair Isle and stitch counts for various patterns

Hi Everyone,
I'm basically a beginner to knitting but am really enjoying it. One of my issues with any craft is to find a way of making practical things, not just pretty things that will sit on a dresser or hang on a wall.

Because I wanted to try circular knitting, I skipped socks and went to toques/hats. I did two from crappy yarn, and then switched to cotton, for some reason, and in the process started out with two colors. The knitters around me said it was fairly ambitious for a beginner, but this aspect seems to come naturally, to a point.

I've started my next hat - the ribbing is finished, and the beginning of the top, but I want to start a pattern now, and am having trouble deciding what to do.

There are 112 stitches to a row, so I can do any pattern that fits into any combination of 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 7. A 7-count pattern is possible, and so is a 14-count pattern. The question is, where do I go to find sample patterns for various stitch counts?

I saw a book on line - "200 Fair Isle Motifs: A Knitter's Directory" by Mary Jane Mucklestone. It looks like what I'm searching for, but I can't seem to find anything else very easily? Any tips?

I have some books of repetitive patterns for cross-stitching - I'll have a look there, too.

I'll put up a pic of my first two hats soon.

Bill's picture

Check Dover books.
Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting

Traditional Fair Isle Knitting

ronhuber's picture

"Traditional Fair Isle Knitting" (recommended by Bill) is a wonderful resource and has over 70 pages of Fair Isle Patterns.

CLABBERS's picture

Your quest for practical things is shared by many of us, especially with the cost of good quality yarn. If I have learned nothing else from the men on this site, using the better quality is so much more pleasurable to knit. I just finished a very simple had with sock yarn for my brother's partner and now his partner wants one. I have enough hats, so I'm just as happy to make them for others. While I am not into Fair Isle knitting...yet...I did hope over to your public library's web site and found that they have several books there that you might find helpful. Here is a link to the search results.

If that doesn't work, just go to the library's site and insert "fair isle knitting."

I often overlook my library and could kick myself sometimes. Why spend the money on books or patterns if you can "shop" for free?

I hope this helps.


SAPBrown's picture

yowek's picture

SAPbrown - that link is quite helpful, although most of the patterns are for one-color knitting. Some of the patterns deal with more than one color.

ilhiker - thanks for the suggestion re: books in our own public library. I just got back from there. I'm realizing that I might have been asking the wrong question, that perhaps I'm not dealing with Fair Isle knitting as much as I'm dealing with Color Knitting or Stranded Knitting.

Most of the patterns in the Fair Isle books were project specific. I'm looking for a 'catalogue' of patterns based on how many stitches wide or high they are, so that I can choose appropriate ones for the number of stitches in a row - this will vary from project to project, depending on the size of the item.

In our library, I found two books by Melissa Leapman - "color knitting the easy way" and "mastering color knitting." The first includes multi-color patterns that show clearly the number of stitches (wide and high) for each motif, which can then be repeated as often as you need it.
The second book has a section that includes Peeries, Borders, Seeding, and Allover patterns, organized by stitch count.

Thanks for your help; now I know more than I knew before. :)