Working a project in two or more colors is called Fair Isle knitting or stranded colorwork when the colors run completely across the project. Intarsia is often called colorwork and it’s more of a blocked color type work. Fair Isle enthusiasts can be really picky about what’s “Fair Isle” and what isn’t so a lot of time, including in this post, Fair Isle and stranded colorwork are kinda lumped into the same category but I’m not a Fair Isle purist, at least not yet, so please don’t hold that against me.
There are multiple ways to do stranded colorwork. The ways I’ve tried are:
- Using two hands – one yarn in the left and one yarn in the right;
- Wrapping both yarns around your right hand and using either wrapping both yarns around one finger or wrapping one yarn around each of two fingers.
- Portuguese Knitting where you use pins.
Those three methods I’ve tried are all very different! I think we all have to figure out what works best for us.
Probably every project I’ve done has been done differently while I’m trying to find my favorite way to do colorwork.
The leftovers cowl is still a work in progress. It was probably the first big colorwork project I started (in 2015 and it still isn’t finished).
My favorite method at the current time is with one strand in the left hand and one strand in the right hand but I’m very interested in learning Portuguese knitting. It seems to be much easier for the hands.
Small projects like hats are much easier for beginner projects.
For anyone wanting to do colorwork, especially for the first time, there are loads of videos on YouTube. Try several methods, practice and decide which method is best for you.
Most importantly, don’t be afraid to try colorwork or anything for that matter. There’s nothing we can’t do . . if we just get started and practice!