Crochet Fair Isle Projects and Patterns

Adding color to your crochet projects is easier than you think using the crochet fair isle technique. With only two colors in each row, managing your colors is easier. This is a great beginner colorwork technique. We’ll share more about the technique here and how to do it. We’ll also give you some of the best resources to take the technique further.

Remember that you can learn all things colorwork in knitting and crochet by joining Camp Colorwork, our online Masterclass where you can work at your own pace.

What is This Colorful Crochet Type?

This is a technique that creates patterns using multiple colors. You can use it to make patterns, such as graphic motifs, or create pictures with your yarn. Firstly, you’ll work with crochet color grid charts. One stitch represents one pixel of color in the chart, as is the case for several other types of crochet colorwork.

Each row only uses two colors at a time, working over the unused color of the row. So, you’ll have two colors in each row, but you can choose to make a very colorful piece by changing which two colors you use from row to row.

This technique is similar to tapestry crochet in the way that the colors are changed. In tapestry crochet, the stitches are worked around unused strands of color, but the unused strands are held behind the work in colorwork crochet. By doing this, the finished crochet piece has more stretch than a tapestry piece and is less stiff. It’s great to learn both techniques because then you can get the drape and texture that you want, in addition to the great, colorful designs.

Inside Fair Isle Crochet Projects

One great resource for this technique is Melissa Leapman’s book. You’ll find a short tutorial section teaching the basics of the technique. Then, the book has eight colorful crochet patterns for you to work with.

NOTE: Don’t forget to read the section at the front of the book about reading the chart. These charts are written like knitting charts. You must understand the structure of the charts so as not to have issues while working the pattern. You’ll understand if you know how to work with tapestry crochet charts. You can also learn all about reading colorwork charts in depth by joining Camp Colorwork.

Patterns in this Book

Matching crochet Fair Isle hat and scarf patterns worked in X and O stitch pattern in dark brown, tan, and 2 shades of green.

I love how there are two matching items for each pattern. This lets you have a finished set in the pattern you like best. The patterns in this book allow you to play with color to your liking.

The four matching pattern sets (for eight total patterns are):

  • Laurel Leaves Crochet Hat & Scarf
  • Hugs & Kisses Crochet Hat & Cowl
  • Stars & Diamonds Crochet Afghan & Pillow
  • Zigzags & Diamonds Crochet Afghan & Pillow

Purchase a Copy

Love the book? You can purchase a copy for your own library through Amazon.

Fabulous Free Crochet Colorwork Patterns

Yarnspirations has several of these wonderfully colorful free patterns!

More Fantastic Color Crochet Patterns

Here are some more great free and for-sale Fair Isle patterns over at WeCrochet

Traveler Fair Isle Crochet Sweater by Briana K Designs

Light grey Crochet Fair Isle sweater, by Briana K, with patterned yoke and cuffs in 2 shades of blue and ochre color yarn.

Traditional Fair Isle Knit Sweaters often have a solid-color body and a designed yoke, which we see here with this great crochet sweater pattern.

Pine Crochet Fair Isle Sweater Pattern by Briana K

Pine crochet sweater colorwork pattern, by briana k, worked in cream and forest green, with pine tree patterned yoke, hem, and cuffs.

As you can see, my friend Briana K is a master at this technique.

Here are some of her other colorwork patterns:

Collage of 5 Briana k crochet fair isle patterns: 3 hats and 2 pairs of mittens.

Wildflower Beanie by Deja Joy

Crochet Wildflower Beanie by Deja Joy. White hat with pattern in green, turquoise, blue, lilac, and purple.

This really shows you how you can use lots of different colors in this technique, even though you only use two colors at a time.

Pony Creek Cowl from WeCrochet

Crochet cowl pattern in white and blue yarn.

This shows you how working with just two colors can also create a really interesting design!

Shape Teaching Crochet Snake Pattern by Deja Joy

Shape Teaching Crochet Snake by Deja Joy.

This is a really cool pattern. You get to practice creating shapes and colorful designs with the technique. And you can use the snake to teach colors and shapes to children! Fun for everyone.

Fair Isle Super Saver Yarn

Red Heart created a “Fair Isle” yarn with a great selection of colors. The idea is that just by working regular crochet stitches, you can achieve something similar to a Fair Isle look without actually learning the technique. Of course, it’s not going to come out exactly the same, but it offers another fun and easy way to play with color in crochet.

Fair Isle In Tunisian Crochet

Cover of the Tunisian Fair Isle crochet book by Brenda Bourg. Model wearing Norwegian Snowflake pattern cowl worked in green and cream yarn.

You have additional options if you know how to work with Tunisian crochet. There are Tunisian crochet colorwork techniques and patterns too!

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Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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