A common practice for swatching on Shetland is to knit a hat. It allows knitters to test out patterns and colors, and confirm their gauge. In the end, the knitter will have a hat that will surely fit someone, and their time and yarn will be put to productive use.

But what if the reason why you need to swatch is because you’d like to knit a hat? Or a headband? Or some gloves?

As we prepare for the Maakin for the MRI knit along starting on January 1, 2020, I thought it might be nice to create a pattern for a fair isle cuff that people could use as a swatch. The cuff could be knit with two of the colors that are used the least in the pattern and function as a wrist warmer for the knitter or someone else. Steek it, and it can function as a coaster on a desk and provide a new seeker the confidence needed to take on the much larger steek of the cowl.

This little cuff can be knit using some of the yarn you will use the least of in your chosen project and will allow you to practice some fair isle skills as well as measuring your gauge.

The pattern is available as a pdf download here:

The instructions you need are all there, but if you are new to fair isle, I am preparing a series of videos to guide you through this little project. I’ll cover casting on to 2 DPNs, switching to 3 if you find 2 to be too fiddly, spit splicing, reading the pattern, holding the yarn, maintaining the proper tension, catching a float, weaving in the ends, and more… including steeking.

As the videos are edited and loaded up to YouTube, I will add them to this post, so check back, or subscribe to my YouTube channel to catch them there.

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