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Fair Isle Fever (Project #1, Part 1)

Fair isle sweater pattern, notebook with notes about sweater, navy and medium blue gauge swatch, and first few rows of ribbing for sweater.
Project #1: Dale of Norway's Kongle Sweater & Cap

The first week of my first big project is in the books and I'm feeling pretty good about it - at least at this point. Per usual, I jumped into the proverbial deep end without knowing how to swim, but hey - I guess I'll figure it out. Or I'll end up at the "Chicks with Sticks" weekly meeting, begging them to help me! Ladies, you know who you are. (Don't worry, I'll come visit regardless.)

It's a fair isle sweater and cap. Fair isle is a multi-colored knitting technique that originated from the Shetland islands, and has continued to be popular in Northern European countries. One of my mom's favorite styles.

I've mentioned this before, but I chose a knitting project as the first one to work on because knitting was the first textile skill that my mom taught me when I was a little girl. In fact, we learned how to knit together (or at least she made me think that). My grandmother had sent me a knitting book, Sunny's Mittens by Robin Hansen, which is a book that teaches young children how to knit.

At that point I had only ever seen my mother sew. When I was young, she ran a seamstress business from our home. Young ladies would come by in the evenings and weekends to get fitted for bridesmaid dresses, prom dresses and more. I remember thinking it must be so glamorous to have someone custom make a dress for you. But I digress.

When I got the book from my grandma, I didn't know how to knit and my mom said she hadn't ever really learned. That resulted in our first ever trip to Knit Wit, a local knitting shop that would become like a second home to my mom. Jan, the owner, became a good friend as my mom's obsession with yarn grew. (I've heard it's quite easy to get addicted!)

Back to the project at hand -

This week, I finished the gauge swatch and started on the ribbing for the body of the sweater. The swatch went fairly well, until I realized that I was using the wrong needle size! It was supposed to be a US size 4 and I was using a size 3. Oops! Fortunately, the width of the swatch was only slightly tighter than called for. So I figure with the right size needle, the gauge should be fine. So onward I go.

Next, I thought casting on would be a breeze, but I apparently I'm not a good judge of yarn length. By my third attempt, I had finally allowed enough length on the tail end to cover the 252 stitches needed to get started. As of today, I have several beautiful rows of knit-pearl ribbing. I've never been so happy with such a small portion of a project.

Let me know what you think so far. I'll have another update in about a week!

Details about the sweater supplies -

Pattern: Dale of Norway, Kongle #6022

Yarn: Dalegarn Tuir


  • Navy Blue #5664

  • Green #6943

  • Blue #5834

  • Cream #0020

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