FO: Bauhaus Fair Isle

I finally finished my first stranded knitting project. I started it somewhere in the middle of August, so it took a little over two and a half months to complete.

I've put several attachments of different views. The main photo was taken indoors, but the rest were done in natural lighting. I tried to get a photo of it being worn but it didn't turn out well, and since temperatures are still in the 80s, I didn't want to spend lots of time wearing it.

I learned a ton from doing this project. There are so many techniques I still have to learn, but I find that jumping right in and trying new things is the best way to make progress.

The garment is riddled with mistakes, but even as a perfectionist I have to admit that most aren't going to be visible. The only one that really bothers me is the lowermost color pattern band. I knew that I was supposed to hold pattern in the left hand and background in the right, but I misunderstood which color was which. All the stitches are correct, but the pattern is more muted and sloppy looking than the rest of the sweater.

The pattern is Bauhaus Fair Isle by Mary Jane Mucklestone, from the Spring 2007 issue of Interweave Knits. It called for using Dale of Norway Heilo yarn, but since I'm a cheapskate, I used Knitpicks Telemark instead. I worked very hard to match the colors as closely as possible (involving several different orders to Knitpicks, as I bought things, decided they wouldn't work, threw the "bad" colors into stash, and ordered something else). The final substitutions I made are summarized here:

Yarn Substitutions
Dale of Norway Heilo Knitpicks Telemark
#0007 Gray Heather Squirrel Heather
#5563 Dark Navy Deep Navy
#5762 Steel Gray Grey Wolf
#5744 Blue Alpine Frost
#0004 Light Gray Heather Snow Leopard
#9155 Olive Pesto

Thanks to everyone that offered advice and inspiration as I worked on this. A special thanks has to go to Jesse (kiwiknitter) for answering several questions of mine and prodding me into doing the sweater in the first place!

Well, off to start Christmas presents. This sweater took so long (and I will only ever have more than one project going in the most extreme of circumstances) that I feel I'm way behind on what I have to get done....

Image icon Closeup Collar.JPG212.62 KB
Image icon Closeup Pattern.JPG229.18 KB
Image icon Overall Back.JPG132.61 KB


RCC's picture

Beautiful..........and looks perfect!

Where did you get the blocking stand shown in one of your pictures? I've started to look, although not very aggresively, and haven't had luck finding one.


You can get these from Jamieson & Smith in the Shetland Isles.

kiwiknitter's picture

The jumper board from J&S isn't as nice as this one!

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Celowin's picture

Thank you for the compliment!

In the US, the stand is available from, though their catalog is so badly organized (in my opinion) you have to know it is there in order to find it! I ended up getting mine from an ebay seller... if you search for "wooly board" or "jumper board" there are probably some up there.

gardenguy42's picture

Just beautiful! Well done! Such intricate stitching is a reward in and of itself, no matter how long it took to complete. It's an instant heirloom.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Celowin's picture

Thank you! I was discussing with someone else that sometimes something just "feels right." Stranded knitting was that way for me. While working lace felt like a chore (though I liked the end result), this I found fun and rewarding from the start. (We'll ignore the darning in of ends....)

This is a tremendous piece of work, and now that you have learned the art of steeking you will find you apply it to a lot of different things. Well done, and especially since you only started knitting at the beginning of the year.

Celowin's picture

I still won't claim to be comfortable with steeks, but I fully expect to use them repeatedly from here out. There are a few other sweater patterns that I'm considering modifying to work with steeks, just because I hate seaming with a passion.

TomH's picture

Looks stunning. Congrats on creating a wonderful sweater. You'll cherish it, I'm sure.

Kerry's picture


Your sweater looks beautiful, what a wonderful job you have done!

In my knitting group, mistakes are called 'design features' ;-)

Wow, that is a fantastic sweater. You should be proud :)

ronhuber's picture

Congratulations. It is a beautiful sweater and you should be very proud of yourself. No mistakes visible. You will enjoy wearing this very much.

purlyman's picture

That's an amazing sweater. Fair isle seems like such a scary thing. It's what I want to try soon though. Congrats on a very beautiful piece of work!!


Good Lord! It's very, very beautiful. Congratulations!! I have to add, however, it's just a tad intimidating to see products like your sweater from someone who has been knitting such a little time. Granted, learning curves vary, but Holy Moly!!!!! You rock!

MMario's picture

Don't feel bad - looking at the photo of his sweater is intimidating to me - and I've been knitting for forty-mumble years!

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

BuduR's picture

Beautiful sweater. Congratulations, if your first came out this beautiful I can't wait to see what your next one will look like.

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

kiwiknitter's picture

Absolutely fantastic! What a great job - everything is perfect. Congratulations on such fine Fair Isle work. It's obvious to me that stranded knitting fits you perfectly! Good work conquering steeks! I really admire your work here. Thanks for letting me join you in this knitting journey.

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

Asplund's picture

It's gorgeous, shimmering! Asplund

rjcb3's picture

A Triumph!

You did a marvelous job! Congratulations!

I love that design. It's so beautiful.

You did so well.


purlyman's picture

Are you knitting with three colors at any point? Or is it just two color stranding at any given time? Again, it's beautiful.


Celowin's picture

There are only two colors in any given round. One of the gorgeous aspects of traditional Fair Isle designs is that they give the illusion that there is more than that going on.