Fair Isle knitting can be tricky on its own, but add in the management of the floats and it takes it to a new level for beginners. In this video tutorial I will teach you how to tuck your fair isle floats as you knit your stranded color work items. Not only will you learn a new technique but you will be able to impress your friends at your next stitch and bitch.
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I know that there is fear about starting the first stranded color work project for some knitters. They worry about changing color and what to do with their floats. In this video I will show you how to keep your floats tidy and weave them in as you work your fair isle pattern. Not only will I show you how to tuck your stranded color work floats when your left hand is your dominant hand but I will also show you when your right hand is dominant.
For this demonstration I am working on the Snow Speckled Hat, a FREE pattern from Red Heart, and using my brand NEW yarn, Chic Sheep, which will be for sale online in November. I also have a full video tutorial show you how to make this hat from start to finish if you want to join me in making it. The Snow Speckled Hat is designed with a 5 stitch repeat. After working 4 stitches in your main color you work 1 stitch in your second color. This leaves a short float, but a float none the less.
Floats can be tricky when the item is going to be something that you wear. Floats that are too long run the risk of getting caught as you put the item on. One way to combat longer floats is to tuck them in as you go. Tucking the floats as you work your fair isle project will make it less likely that they will snag when you ware the finished item. Let me show you how to tame them.
Tucking your Fair Isle Floats:
I prefer to hold my main color in my left hand and my secondary color in my right hand. When working in fair isle knitting I use the continental method with both hands. In the video I will show you how to work this technique using both hands. If you are a thrower you can still use this method you will just drop and pick up your colors vs. using both hands.
Since there is a 5 stitch repeat I will knit two stitch in my main color and then tuck my float. I suggest that you tuck your floats every 2-3 stitches depending on how big your repeat is. Tucking your float will look no different on the right side of your work but will keep your wrong side more tidy.
First I will knit 2 stitches. I will tuck my floating yarn on my next stitch and then work my last stitch as a knit. To tuck your yarn you will wrap your needle with the secondary color first then again with the main color. You then drop the secondary color and finish the knit stitch with your primary color. This may be a little confusing to read so be sure to watch the video for a better understanding.
Fair Isle Floats-Weave As You Go Video Tutorial:
Try Your Hand At Tucking Floats:
Try out this technique with the Snow Speckled Hat.