Photo of Mary Jane Mucklestone

The Fair Isle Vest

Stranded & Steeked

with Mary Jane Mucklestone
The Fair Isle Vest
Mary Jane Mucklestone invites you to get just as obsessed as she is by Fair Isle knitting. Then pick up your scissors and leap into steeking!

Like any challenging thing, Fair Isle knitting is both satisfying ... and a tiny bit addictive. Fiber artist Mary Jane Mucklestone invites you to get just as obsessed as she is by these intricate multicolored designs from the Shetland Islands. Then use steeking to transform your knit tube into a flattering and on-trend garment. Mary Jane designed this beautiful sweater vest just for Craftsy and chose traditional Shetland yarns to create it. You'll build your stranded colorwork skills round by round, then pick up your scissors and take a mad leap into steeking. It's true - you will cut into your knitting. Meanwhile, Mary Jane will encourage you to commit a multitude of knitting sins, including knotting your yarn joins, not weaving in ends, and ... hold onto your hat ... ignoring mistakes.

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Lesson plan


Lesson 1. Introduction

  • Meet Mary Jane, your guide into the fabulous Fair Isle universe.


Lesson 2. Fair Isle History

  • Learn about the history of Fair Isle knitting.


Lesson 3. Shetland Wool

  • Let's talk about wool! Learn about the perfect yarn for your project: Shetland wool.


Lesson 4. Yarn & Color

  • Color theory doesn't have to be scary! Learn about arranging colors in this lesson.


Lesson 5. Fair Isle Charts

  • Charts are a fun way to plan your knitting. Learn how to chart colors and basic reading techniques.


Lesson 6. Swatching

  • Before you skip swatching (we know you're thinking about it!), watch this lesson to learn the importance of your gauge swatch.


Lesson 7. Knitting Your Vest

  • Time to get started! Now that you're fully prepared, you can start your vest. Learn about handling two strands and addressing concerns as you start this beautiful project.


Lesson 8. Steeking Your Vest

  • Stabilize your knitting by steeking. Unsure of what steeking is? Watch to find out!


Lesson 9. Shaping & Reinforcing

  • Shape that sweater! Now that you've steeked, you need to shape your sweater. Get the perfect fit with this lesson.


Lesson 10. Finishing

  • Finish your vest before it winds up in the work-in-progress pile. Learn how to graft the shoulders and block for a professional look.

"I just finished my fair isle sweater and could not have been happier with this class. Mary Jane presents clear instructions on every aspect of this sweater's construction. Every question I had was answered within a video lesson. I now feel so much more confident with the techniques taught in this class and I will be able to apply them to future projects."
avatar - Primalux
Michigan, USA

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