Fair Isle for a Good Cause

I thought I’d share a project that I knitted last year.

I was on holiday in North West Scotland, near Gairloch with K and the dog. Our trip coincided with a local community event: the Gairloch Gathering. There were lots of stalls from local traders and organisations and various activities including a pet parade (Buddy was not exactly on his best behaviour for that), children’s sports, a fell race, a demonstration of electro-fishing (used for sampling purposes), all ending up with a ceilidh in the evening.

There was a lovely yarn stall and a kit caught my eye: yarns and pattern to make this beautiful beanie – Harriet’s Hat. This was designed by Harriet Middleton to sell as a fundraiser for the Shetland Scanner Appeal. She wanted to do this following her own need for regular trips to the mainland for MRI scans. You can buy the pattern to download here for only £4 and there are similar gloves and other accessory patterns available too. The kit included 6 different shades of Jamiesons Spindrift Shetland yarn, which echo the colours of the scanner appeal logo.

The hardest part of knitting this was that the blue shades are very close to each other, both in the yarn and the colour chart on the pattern, but (as long as I was looking at the pattern in decent light) it worked out ok in the end.

It’s the first pattern I’ve worked on that has a nice design on the ribbing

Another thing I like about it (I think this is a characteristic of true Fair Isle) is that though the overall design is complex and multicoloured, you only have to use 2 colours of yarn at any one time on each row, so no tangles of yarn!

I was glad that I darned the ends in as I went along though – there were lots!

It is knitted in the round on circular needles, starting out with a K2P2 rib band, then in stocking stitch, finishing the decreases on double pointed needles. The decreases on the crown of the hat result in this gorgeous snowflake-like centre.

I really enjoyed making this – it was interesting and kept me engaged . The design and colours work well together. It fits well and is very warm – it covers the ears! It’s always good to know that you are supporting a good cause too!

Have you ever knitted Fair Isle?


I live in Northumberland, within sight of the sea and spend my time knitting, crocheting, sewing and trying my hand at different crafts. There's usually a story to share about the things I make.

6 thoughts on “Fair Isle for a Good Cause

  1. What a beautiful hat. I am more of an aran knit fan I have to admit a nice bit of cabling rocks my boat! I get a bit tetchy if I am using more than one colour xx


    1. Thank you! I used to prefer Aran too but I’ve been getting a lot more into colour work over the last couple of years. This is the most colours I’ve ever used but as there were only 2 on the go at a time it was manageable.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It looks harder than it is, so worth having a go. The main trick is getting the tension right. As you strand the yarn colour not being used across the back of the work, it is easy to pull it too tight. Go for it!


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