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Exploring Color in Fair Isle Knitting with Mary Jane Mucklestone

November 11 @ 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
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This lively course will introduce the basics of color selection for fair isle knitting. We will learn about the use of color over the years in traditional Fair Isle knitting and move beyond developing our own personal color schemes. We’ll analyze how different color combinations can completely change how a motif looks. Knitting a simple stranded wristlet or fingerless glove will quickly illustrate new concepts. Mary Jane will provide the pattern for Tamto Mitts from her book Fair Isle Weekend as well as bring along all her samples from her new book with Gudrun Johnston, Grand Shetland Adventure Knits.


  • Six or more colors of fingering weight yarn; 15-20 yards of each color. More colors will allow for more choice and experimentation. Shetland wool is my favorite because of the amazing array of colors. It’s nice to have a range of colors. Try to include some light colors and dark colors. Dive into your stash!
  • Needles: Your preferred needle for working small-diameter pieces in the round, US3 [3.25mm] dps or long circular needle for magic loop.
  • Stitch markers and tapestry needle.


With any color yarn you like, CO 48 sts. Place marker join to work in the round without twisting. Work k1, p1 rib for 1″ (2.5 cm).


Mary Jane Mucklestone is a knitwear designer, teacher and author of several knitting books who is based in Maine. She has a varied background in art and textiles earning a BFA in Printmaking from Pratt Institute, studying fashion at Parsons School of Design and Textiles and Historic Costume at the University of Washington. Her work has been featured in publications like Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits and various books.

Mary Jane, also known as MJ, has specialized in Fair Isle knitting, also called stranded knitting. With Laine Publishing she has published her fifth book, Fair Isle Weekend.

With her friend Gudrun Johnston, they host popular once in a lifetime trips to Shetland and together they have co-authored Grand Shetland Adventure Knits, published through Laine. MJ is endlessly enchanted and inspired by Shetland’s windswept isles. Her book 200 Fair Isle Motifs is used by The Shetland Peerie Makker’s after-school knitting program, which, for MJ, is the equivalent of winning an Oscar!