Sunday 6 March 2016

Fair Isle Design Process WIP

I've recently bought some new colours in beautiful Jamieson and Smith Shetland wool (to add to my growing collection) and got to thinking that there must be a better way to organise the colours to help me when I'm coming up with new Fair Isle jewellery designs. So, inspired by the fab Attic24, I bought myself some Dolly Pegs (took me right back to childhood!) and spent a therapeutic afternoon watching Netflix and winding yarn onto the pegs to act as my "shade card"!

I'm finding it much easier to plan colour stories, working out what colours go well together and in which order with the yarn on the pegs than it was to place the whole balls of wool next to each other

These are the lovely new colours I've just chosen- really Spring like! I'm starting to go through the Jamieson and Smith shade card to label the pegs with their relevant shade number, to make it easier when I come to order more yarn

I'm having a lot of fun playing with different colour combinations and looking forward to knitting them into new Fair Isle jewellery pieces

I think this idea works really well in terms of making custom pieces too, because the customer can come up with their own colour scheme from this selection

If you're a regular reader you will know that I have been planning my Fair Isle designs using knitter's graph paper, but for the latest few pieces I have just picked up the yarn and needles and worked in a free form whatever comes out of my head type of way, to try a less regimented way of working and just have fun with the colours. I tried to felt this particular piece but sadly it didn't work

I've decided not to make the rectangular Shetland wool brooches any more and instead I'm focusing on square Fair Isle brooches, as I think you can fit more pattern onto the square shape

With such a large range of colours there is a lot of scope for many and varied designs. I love this really girly colour scheme, which again I knitted in a "free form" style.

I'll be sure to share my new designs with you as I continue to have fun playing with the colours!


  1. Dolly pegs are so useful for winding threads and yarns onto although I hadn't thought of using them as a shade card. Brilliant!

    1. Thank you Dina, I'm finding them so useful!