17 Fair Isle Knitting Patterns


17 Fair Isle Knitting Patterns

These easy fair isle patterns are perfect for knitters of any skill level!

17 Fair Isle Knitting Patterns

When new knitters talk about knitting techniques that scare them, the most common answers are cables and colorwork. Almost without fail, they are surprised by how simple these techniques actually are! All you need are a few simple projects to get your feet wet, and then the world of fair isle knitting is your proverbial oyster. This collection of 17 Fair Isle Knitting Patterns is a great place to start if you're uneasy about giving stranded colorwork a try, or if you're a seasoned pro who just wants some ideas for his or her next project.

What separates fair isle knitting patterns from those using other forms of colorwork, like intarsia, is that you are carrying both (or all) of the colors in your work throughout your entire project, so you can pick up and use any color in any stitch. You might recognize this style of knitting in Icelandic sweaters, with their intricate designs of two colors or more running from the shoulders all the way up to the neckhole, or even just standard stockinette stitch hats with floral or snowflake designs snaking around the perimeter. This collection has these ideas for easy fair isle patterns and more!

For more great projects like this, subscribe to our free email newsletter!

Easy Fair Isle Patterns

These knitting patterns are great for dipping your toes into fair isle. With either easy-to-navigate colorwork patterns or just a single pair of colors to work with, these easy fair isle patterns are the perfect starting point for you in your stranded knitting journey. There's a pattern here for every kind of learner, from quick projects to just understand the style, or longer endeavors to help you really get the hang of the technique.

Tokyo Knit Top

This pattern is a deceptively easy one, but don't be fooled by the multitude of colors and shapes. Once you've knit a few rows of this design, you'll find yourself on autopilot.

Get the Pattern

Nordic Holiday Centerpiece

Most fair isle patterns are knit in the round, and that's because you don't have a wrong side on which to see the floats, or long trails of color! You'll find even this circular needle pattern to be extremely simple.

Get the Pattern

Beginner's Fair Isle Scarf

If you're a knitter, chances are you learned how to knit on a scarf. Since these flat-knit, utilitarian beauties are so versatile, they make the perfect medium for getting the hang of fair isle knitting.

Get the Pattern

Hamptons Hideaway Old-Fashioned Sweater

Yes, you can even knit easy fair isle sweaters! This pattern is a vintage favorite because it's timeless, attractive, and oh-so-simple. The two easy colorwork sections make this pattern a breeze for those just beginning to knit in fair isle.

Get the Pattern

Valentine Mug Cozy

Isn't this just the sweetest? This easy pattern is a great excuse to knit a gift for your sweetheart, as long as you don't tell them it was all so you could practice your fair isle! You'll find the speed of this pattern positively refreshing.

Get the Pattern

Fair Isle Knitting Patterns in the Round

Knitting in the round is easily the most popular way to knit in fair isle. This is because fair isle knitting produces long trails of unused yarn, called floats, on the wrong side of your work. When you knit in the round, nobody will see the wrong side of your work at all! Check out the following patterns for some easy fair isle knitting patterns in the round that anybody can knit with just a little practice.

Insanely Adorable Kitten Mittens

These mittens show just how cute fair isle knitting patterns can be! While you might run into some difficulty if you've never knit mittens before, the fair isle itself will be a breeze with its simple design and singular contrasting color.

Get the Pattern

Follow the Signs Knit Cowl

Fair isle knitting patterns don't have to be all stars, snowflakes, and flowers! This unique knit cowl pattern from Patons features a design of arrows, akin to traffic signs, but somehow it's ridiculously cute. If you're looking to really have fun with your fair isle, this is the pattern you want.

Get the Pattern

Fair Isle Cerulean Hat

No frills on this one! If the idea of mixing circular knitting with fair isle knitting terrifies you a little bit, start with this pattern. You'll find after a few rounds that it's not so difficult after all, and hey, you'll have a really cute hat to show for it!

Get the Pattern

Fashionable Fair Isle Sweater

This traditional Icelandic style sweater is as classically "fair isle" as it gets! The best part about this sweater pattern is its simplicity, and how totally customizable it is. Pick your three favorite colors and give it a go!

Get the Pattern

Seed Stitch Aztec Cowl

It may look like this cowl uses way too many colors for your own comfort, but don't be fooled! The design is made using one solid yarn and one variegated yarn, and the effect is a beautifully unique fair isle design that looks way more difficult than it actually is.

Get the Pattern

Seamless Fair Isle Hat

If you're a hat knitting enthusiast, this is your next project. Once you've gotten your feet wet with the Fair Isle Cerulean Hat, this pattern will help you learn to use four colors in just one project without leaving you with a messy, haphazard-looking hat.

Get the Pattern

Fair Isle Market Knit Bag Pattern

Now that you're basically a pro at knitting fair isle in the round, your final hurdle should be this bag! Since it contains multiple colors and advanced techniques, if you can knit this bag pattern, you can knit anything using the fair isle technique.

Get the Pattern

Free Fair Isle Knitting Patterns for Babies

The best part about baby patterns is how small and quick they are! These free fair isle knitting patterns for babies are the best way to showcase your newly-learned skills while simultaneously giving a tiny newborn the gift of warmth and coziness. Sure, maybe they won't be able to wear these knits forever, but you can bet they'll keep them and pass them down to the next generation because beautiful fair isle knits can't just be thrown away!

Baby Snuggle Sack + Hat

Is there anything cuter than a tiny baby in a little pouch? This easy fair isle knitting pattern for a baby sack (and a precious matching hat) makes the most excellent baby shower gift. We absolutely adore the elegant seed stitch border.

Get the Pattern

Tulip Yoke Baby Cardigan

Icelandic sweaters aren't just for grown-ups! In fact, I'd argue they're even cuter on babies. This cardigan has a precious little tulip design that's perfect for spring, but will look cheery and bright on your baby (or grandbaby) any time of the year.

Get the Pattern

Shetland Baby Knit Hat

Shameless plug: I designed this hat! The smallest size is perfect for preemies while the larger size will fit newborns. Be warned: this hat is best knit once you have some experience managing jogs in fair isle knitting in the round. When you can master the jogless stripe, you'll have the most precious baby hat.

Get the Pattern

Bed of Roses Baby Dress

This one's for the ladies! If it's maybe a little too warm outside to justify knitting the baby a fair isle sweater, this baby dress is a great compromise. The summery colors and vintage apron-like design on this tiny dress will have the little one looking like a porcelain doll!

Get the Pattern

Pixie Earflap Knit Baby Hat

Baby, it's cold outside! Protect the baby from the chill with this adorable little fiar isle earflap hat. This pattern will help keep baby's ears warm but won't hide that adorable little face.

Get the Pattern

What's your favorite kind of colorwork?

Your Recently Viewed Projects

Leave a Comment


Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Close Window