Fair Isle Cardigan

Finished up a new cardigan this weekend. I only ever made Fair Isle Vests as drop shoulder sweaters are very unflattering on me. However, I thought I would try to make a raglan sweater and it turned out satisfactorily. I chose three browns, three grays, and a natural white and rooted through many books. I was inspired by Sheila MacGregor, Sarah Don, Elizabeth Zimmermann, and Debbie Bliss. The wool is from Jamieson and Smith in Lerwick Shetland Islands and I used 3.5 mm needles instead of the usual 3.0 mm that I usually use for Fair Isle and I really like the drape of the material. I tried to figure out how to do the raglans in pattern but finally decided to centre the design in the back, on the sleeves, and on the front, and let the pattern do what it wanted to when I decreased and I am satisfied with it. I had a 9 stitch steek and as always just cut it up the middle stitch without securing anything. Will try one now with set-in sleeves. Have been toying with the idea of a patterned body and then plain sleeves in the base colour.

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Bill's picture

That looks TERRIFFIC!
you did a wonderful job!

albert's picture

Ron, the pattern works out beautifully on the raglan seams- I don't think you could have gotten a more perfect result if you had calculated down to the last stitch. I love the earth tones. Again I'm beset by cardigan envy!

vsidart's picture


Tom Hart's picture

Wow! That is just flat-out stunning! You've given me something to aspire to. Thanks for the really excellent photos of it.

Craig's picture

An amazing work of art. Great colours, great pattern and as Albert mentioned great raglan seams.

Have been knitting for years. I knit continually then will try another craft, but will return to the needles.

New York Built's picture

You have stirred my stranded knitting genes...they need to be expressed! What a great job. I like that raglan seam as well and the pattern is so well done. The eye is drawn into the complexity of your color selection subtlety. Great work!

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

It ¡s a wonderful cardigan, and you did a great job. I agree with Albert about the raglan seam. Enjoy wearing it.

Asplund's picture

What a beautiful cardigan!
Raglans are my favourite sweater shape, and I love your combination of colours (it shows how wonderful colours browns and greys are) and patterns (so much variety and still it looks so balanced).
A garment for you to be extremely proud of and for others to be extremely envious of.


Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Very lovely sweater, Ron. I like the way everything all balances out. I really like raglan shaping and have used it for my few sweaters. What an inspiration. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

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Kerry's picture

Ron, your cardigan looks great, you've done a wonderful job with it. The raglan sleeves look so much better than drop shoulders. Since seeing your photos I realise that drop shoulders do not suit me either and wish that I'd realised it before knitting my Fair Isle.

donbucknla's picture

It looks great! If I only had the patience to even try something like that!!

purlyman's picture

Wow - so beautiful!! I've done a few raglans but was myself concerned about what to do with raglans and colorwork - it works out just beautifully!! The colors are amazing and you should be very proud. I've just cut a little child's cardigan up the middle and haven't decided what to do now... I'm supposed to put in a zipper. Yikes!! Thanks for all the pics and sharing it with us!!


ronhuber's picture

Thanks for your comments. I usually just sew in zippers by hand and either pin or scotch tape them in position. In Canada there are often places in malls where you can get pants shortened and other clothes altered. My friend takes all her sweaters there to have zippers installed and they do a wonderful job. Good luck.

scottly's picture

Seriously, that's beyond conprehension.