Now that you have decided to take the plunge into Fair Isle, knitting let’s talk a bit about the best yarn to use. In my opinion, there is nothing better to use for Fair Isle knitting then a Shetland wool.
I like to use Jamieson Spindrift for my Fair Isle projects. It comes in a range of 220 colors so you have a wide variety of shades to choose from to give you a subtle effect in the gradation of your color. Using this two ply fingering weight yarn, you will be creating a lightweight but very warm garment. There is research suggesting that Shetland wool is 50% warmer by weight then other wools. This might be a somewhat murky area as wool is at times a term that refers to all natural fibers coming from a variety of animals, not just sheep.
Jamieson is a sturdy yarn that will survive years of wear. The Shetland yarn is what I like to call a crisp yarn. It has structure so it will hold it shape unlike a merino that is very soft but does not hold it shape as much as I would like and in my opinion becomes very heavy in a garment.
Shetland sheep wool comes in one of the widest ranges of colors of any breed. Everything from the purest white to the deepest coal black, there are 11 main colors and 30 markings, many still bearing their Shetland dialect names. So you can successfully create a garment out of all natural colors if you so choose.
If you have never knitted with Shetland wool you are missing out on a great yarn. Experiment with your knitting and try something new and exciting by bring a colorful world of Fair Isle knitting into your life.