Shaded Fair Isle Patterns

One of the delights of working Fair Isle patterns is choosing the colours and seeing the different effects you can create. Contrasting colours create a bright, fun look while using similar tones makes a subtle shaded pattern.


As with most Fair isle patterns, this is worked in stocking stitch and the colour not in use is carried across the back of the work. If it is carried across more than four stitches you may want to weave it in with the working yarn every two or three stitches to keep the strands of yarn at the back neat.

Step 1


This star motif is worked from a chart. Select the yarn colours you wish to use and follow the chart colours using your darkest shade for the darkest coloured squares and working through three other colours to white or the lightest shade you have chosen. This is the pattern chart we'll be following.

Step 2


Cast on the required number of stitches in the first (lightest) colour. The pattern is worked over multiples of twelve stitches plus one. For the first row of the work, which is the right side, follow the first row of the chart from right to left and introduce the second colour where indicated.

Step 3


Work back across the stitches for the purl row reading the second row of the chart from left to right. The third row is worked with the second colour only and the third colour is introduced on the fourth row.

Step 4


Continue working with two colours on the fifth row, one colour on the sixth row and then introduce the fourth and darkest colour on the seventh row.

Step 5


Follow the chart reading all right-side rows from right to left and all wrong-side rows from left to right.

Step 6


Carry the yarn across the back of the work as you work the different coloured stitches. Keep the yarn tensioned loosely and evenly so the fabric lies flat. Decide which colour will lie on top and always strand the yarns in the same order.

Step 7


The centre of the pattern is row fourteen. The remaining rows are worked as a mirror image of the first half of the pattern.

Step 8


The completed pattern shows the little star contained within shaded waves.