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Fair Isle Quest

July 11, 2012

Upon the new year I made a list which included 3 things* I wanted to accomplish this year. Three things that I have never done before. This was to be the year! Well… It’s already July and I haven’t done any of them. None. I haven’t even started one and then set it aside. Nothing. Fortunately, nothing inspires like running out of time. I am planning my Fair Isle Sweater Quest!

Every time the Olympics comes around Ravelry has it’s own olympic games – The Ravellenic Games** – obviously of the knitting kind.  Knitters all over the world spend time preparing their materials, and as the opening ceremonies begin, they simultaneously cast on. By the extinguishing of the torch, you must have your project completed and post your pictures. Technically, they are a bit lax on the rules; for example, you decide what “completed” means (you could have the parts knit, but not sewn together, for example). If you complete your project you get a “medal” on your project page. All during the Olympics you can post progress pictures and see how everyone in your category is moving along. There’s a lot of camaraderie in knitting, especially during this event.

The 2010 Winter Olympics was my first time “competing” and I made the Snowy Night Afghan. It is made with giant needles and thick yarn held together, so while it might seem like a big endeavor, it actually didn’t take that long. This yearI’m going for gold – a fair isle sweater. I have considered backing out of this challenge. It’s kind of a big one – a whole sweater using an unfamiliar technique completed within 17 days. Not to mention I am the matron of honor in a wedding right smack in the middle of those days, so you can imagine how much knitting I’ll get done during that. But this is a perfect opportunity to charge on and accomplish one of my 3 things, right? In an effort to avoid cowardice I’m putting my decision on the blog. Anything that goes on the blog is official and I know you’ll hold me to it. Right? Right…?

Here’s the other problem. I know which events I am competing in (colorwork cross-country & sweater triathlon), and what I want to make, but which pattern?! I have looked at pattern after pattern and every time I look I decide on a different one. I’m recruiting you for help. Here are a few of my top picks – what do you think?

I would really like to hear what you think, so please leave a comment telling me which one you like best. That being said, I am not willing to bind myself to your decision… Actually, I think I have it narrowed down a bit, and I’m secretly hoping that you all enthusiastically pick one of my top selections so I can feel good about my excellent taste haha. There is also a good chance that your comments might change my mind completely. I’m unpredictable like that. Choose, but choose wisely!

*The three things were knit a Fair Isle sweater, make a quilt, and make homemade pasta. I’m making headway on the quilt too – I’ve purchased most of the fabric.

**If you want to read a funny article about knitting, the US Olympic Committee, scandal, and copyright, click here. The whole ordeal had a LOT of knitters pretty ticked, to say the least.

*** Here is a list of Ravelry links to the sweaters I pictured above with pattern, yarn and source info, if you’re curious:

1 – Aftur by Vedis Jonsdottir

2 – Chunky Snowflake Boyfriend Cardigan by Kyoko Nakayoshi

3 – Fair Isle Yoke Cardigan by Judy Darley

4 – 92-04 Cardigan by Gudrun Sveinsdottir & Gudrun Gunnersdottir

5 – Riddari by Vedis Jonsdottir

6 – Plum Frost Cardigan by Elinor Brown

7 – Voussoir by Melissa Wherle

8 – Afmaeli by Vedis Jonsdottir

9 – Stilwell by Jared Flood

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Auntie Pam permalink
    July 11, 2012 8:44 am

    I love the colors and pattern of 1 and the cardigan style of 6. How creative are you feeling?

  2. July 11, 2012 8:45 am

    My votes are for 1,7 or 9. I like all three of them!!

  3. Mary Kay permalink
    July 11, 2012 9:07 am

    I like 1 and 6. I really like 2 except for the placement of the snowflakes in the chest area! Also 9 for you but I’d leave off the bottom pattern in case you’re making it for me (a girl can hope).

  4. Aunt Tricia permalink
    July 11, 2012 1:50 pm

    I like 1 and 9 for you and 5 for Timmy. Good luck!

  5. Aunt Betsy permalink
    July 11, 2012 2:58 pm

    I like # 7, but it looks hard to line up all those dots

  6. Emily permalink
    July 11, 2012 4:33 pm

    My favorite is 7!

  7. Uncle Tom permalink
    July 11, 2012 10:10 pm

    Definitely #5 but not green – navy blue accent instead- size xtra lg!!!

  8. Darlene permalink
    July 13, 2012 9:13 pm

    Well, if you only have 17 days and have never done this before, I would go with #1. You won’t have all the details like buttons, buttonholes, etc, that could take extra time. You will be changing colors a lot and following the color chart which you have to look at, then knit, then change colors, then read the pattern then knit again. You can’t get any speed up doing this so that will take a little longer. It really isn’t as hard as it looks, and the end results are gorgeous. Just remember that you carry the colors across the back and they shouldn’t show on the front (when carried). Knit to tight and it will draw in, knit to loose, and you see the threads on the front. Good luck and go for the gold.


  1. Fair Isle Quest: Preparations « Mrs. Duck's Domestic Doings

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