Our love affair with the vintage fair isle look continues, and while knitting from the original instructions may seem straightforward, I sometimes get questions from concerned fair isle pattern buyers about whether the instructions are written or charted – this blogpost is intended to encourage those nervous souls to dive in and chart your own! It’s pretty common for vintage fair isle patterns to be written with no chart representation and being a lazy moo myself I always appreciate the appeal of charted patterns for ease and speed, but there’s also something rather satisfying about deciphering the written instructions, like revealing a secret code, so here are some tips for how to do it.
I’ll use this 1940s jumper with fair isle yoke that I’m working on at the moment as an example – as you can see you’ll obviously have a visual clue from the pattern picture so you’re not exactly working in the dark. It’s also fairly common for patterns from this era to suggest which colours you should use, although don’t feel you have to stick to their suggestions. This particular pattern suggests natural, black, blue and red which I’ve decided to stick to. (more…)