How to Knit a Fair Isle Border - dummies

How to Knit a Fair Isle Border

By Kristi Porter

This Fair Isle border pattern uses five colors, so experiment a bit with your graph paper and colored pencils to get the Fair Isle border look that you’re after.


Here are some Fair Isle border tips:

  • Even though five colors are used in this Fair Isle border, remember that you’re using only two colors in any row — so the knitting will be the same as it is for a two-color pattern.

  • Reading this chart may demand some attention; using a ruler or sticky note to mark what row of the pattern you’re on can help.


  • Before you start a new row, take a moment to see which two colors are used in it. Cut the yarn for any color you won’t be using in the next couple of rows and leave a tail to weave in.

    Taking time to keep your yarns tidy helps prevent irritating tangles down the road.

  • It’s always smart to make a swatch with a Fair Isle pattern because you want to make sure that your gauge is right. Swatching also gives you a chance to see what the pattern will really look like knit up.