I've always been a bit intimidated by fair isle. It looks so complicated, and was something else that I thought only really accomplished knitters could do. But I had some yarn for a fair isle hat that I won in a giveaway and decided to add "colourwork" to my crafting goals for this year.
So, I cast on just to test the water. And it wasn't as hard as I expected. I got this far pretty quickly:
I was amazed at what I was achieving *grins* It looks like it should and everything.
So I carried on, and tried a few tips I'd received through some comments on my first post about it. My tension was pretty tight, but for my first attempt I was amazed that I was doing it at all. And when I blocked it, everything seemed to even up nicely:
I started with my usual style of knitting (English), and dropped the colour I wasn't using as I went. After a while I got a bit sick of picking up and dropping the yarn so I tried holding the contrast colour in my left hand. Incredibly, I got the hang of it and could knit with yarn in each hand. I felt like a bit of a superhero when I managed that *laughs*
As you can probably tell, I am pretty proud of myself at this point. But the fact is, it really isn't as hard as I expected. I picked up a load of new skills (fair isle, picking instead of throwing, reading a chart) which felt fantastic, but I felt like I was cheating - it really is simpler than it looks ;)
This discovery of course meant that I started looking at loads of colourwork patterns. I have yarn to make another hat first, for practice and to improve my tension, but then I want to move on to exciting new things. I can try things with more than 2 colours, for example.
And then I remembered putting a pattern on my "one day, when I'm good enough" list. Little Birds, by Ysolda Teague:
I love the shape and the simplicity of this pattern. Now I feel like I can actually make it *grins*