It’s a new year, and for me, it has meant, thankfully, new followers here on WordPress, many thank you’s. Also, I’m  returning to some enjoyable knitting projects of long ago when knitting for our children as teenagers and young adults and just finished this Fair Isle pullover or jumper. It’s a free pattern and was the sweater Scarlett Johansson wore in the film, “We Bought a Zoo” with Matt Damon.

fair isle 007

Sharon Watterson

Fair Isle design gets a once every 20-year push and is all the craze again this year as it was in the 60’s and 80’s.  Scarlett Johansson’s Fair Isle sweater pattern in the holiday movie release “We Bought a Zoo” was posted as a free pattern by Knitting Icelandic, so decided it would be perfect for our granddaughter’s birthday in February. Knit on circular needles and dpns in the round from the bottom up, I had forgotten just how boring a crew-neck can be, going round and round with a plain stockinette knit stitch, before you get to the yoke and all the stranded colorwork. But the bonus is in the finishing!

Did I say this one is for our granddaughter, Charlotte’s, 12th birthday?

Scarlett’s Fair Isle sweater is knit on a US 7 (4.5 mm) with a moss stitch edge on the sleeves, which are knit on dpns. Daunting at first, but just like knitting clog or boot socks, once you get used to going around , it’s easy and faster with bigger needles than the usual smaller sock gauge. And the reward is no sewing up, except the underarm. Finishing the sweater has been a breeze.

underarm stitches on waste yarn ©Sharon Watterson

Whipping in the different color yarns of the yoke, inevitably is tiresome, but the underarm can be grafted like closing the toe of a sock or “sewn up”  with a three-needle cast off.  I’m using the three-needle bind off method, as I think it will be neater for this knitting project. You can also use this method to connect shoulder pieces as well.

©Sharon Watterson

I don’t knit during the day, just at night watching television (tonight,  it’s “Downton Abbey“)  and am not a particularly fast knitter, using the English method and throwing the yarn. This Fair Isle pattern took about three weeks with another infinity cowl,  a pair of fingerless mitts, and a few Fair Isle baby hats thrown in the middle.

fair isle

©Sharon Watterson

 So please don’t think Fair Isle patterns take forever and end up in your unfinished bin.

At the holidays, most of my knitting was accessories, more infinity scarf patterns than I ever want to see again,

©Sharon Watterson

and hats, oh, the hat patterns,  either as gifts or for my Etsy shop, so beginning a few new sweaters has been a welcomed relief.

Next project on the needles will be one of my favorite patterns, it’s Elsebeth Lavold’s “Viveca“,  from an older book (maybe in your public library) and knit before with alpaca.

©Sharon Watterson

This time, I’m knitting it with Mirasol “Cotanani”, 60% pima cotton and 40% Merino wool, nice for spring and chilly summer nights, purchased on sale for about $30 for ten skeins, unheard of these days with the jump in yarn prices.

“Viveca” photo by Anders Rydell

I’ll be making some adjustments, as the Cotanani yarn requires a US 6 (4 mm) and the pattern calls for a US 8 (5 mm) and think knitting the largest pattern size will work for the smaller needle and gauge. Must swatch first, of course.  But before I start Viveca, am finishing Levenwick, blogged about previously, one more sleeve to go.