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  • Writer's pictureAbi

Bonnie Fair Isle: From Washed Away to Woolly Renewal

We all know crafting has its highs and lows, and my journey with the Bonnie Fair Isle blanket is a testament to that truth.


In September 2021, I designed and created my Bonnie Fair Isle blanket. Fair Isle is a small Island located halfway between Orkney and Shetland, off the north coast of Scotland.

Traditional Fair Isle knitting has been practised for generations and combines a variety of colours with small geometric motifs.


As we are crocheters, it’s not easy to fully replicate Fair Isle knitting, but I designed this pattern so we can create our own Bonnie Fair Isle blanket.



The original blanket was crocheted using my stash - a mix of Lion Brand Mandala and Stylecraft Special DK. It's a brilliant stash-buster as the patterns are small and use up very little yarn each.


I got some amazing shots of the blanket when my husband Mac and I, went for a wee weekend away up to the Highlands of Scotland. I loved this blanket. It was long enough to cover my toes when I was cooried up on the sofa.


However, this tale takes a sombre turn, as my husband unintentionally subjected the blanket to a 1400rpm wash cycle. The result? A once-beautiful creation reduced to a tangle of yarn and a misshapen memory. Sob.


I do forgive him - it was a total accident - he's just not allowed to wash any of my blankets again. EVER AGAIN.


Anyhoo. Onwards and upwards and in the spirit of a seasoned crafter, I saw an opportunity for a fresh start.


I spent a long time looking at yarns (one of my favourite things to do) and stumbled upon Drops Alaska – a 100% wool yarn known for its sturdiness and earthy colours.



The colours I chose are:

​Colour (and colour code)

Number of Skeins required (50g per skein)

Mustard (58)

4

​North Sea (64)

4

Wheat (61)

2

Pearl Grey Mix (63)

3

​Fog Mix (62)

2

Toffee (66)

3

Maroon (67)

11

Light Brown Mix (49)

3

​Dark Turquoise (52)

2

​Light Olive (45)

4

​Pearl White (69)

5

​Peanut (68)

3

​Dark Brown Mix (50)

3

Navy Blue (12)

2

​Cinnamon (71)

3

Sage Green (65)

4

I know that's a lot of colours, but it's what I wanted, and I think it turned out lovely. I purchase my wool from the Wool Warehouse - they are UK based but do fairly fast international shipping - https://www.woolwarehouse.co.uk/yarn/drops-alaska-all-colours


 

Now, because I was using an Aran weight yarn instead of DK - which my original blanket was in, I decided to reduce the starting chain and skip some of the patterns, so it didn't turn out quite as long.


My starting chain was 172 (12 x 14, plus 3, plus 1 for turning), and I left out patterns 4, 17 and 21.



Isn't she beautiful? She's so heavy and the perfect winter blanket to snuggle under - even with your naughty husband, lol.


So, if you want to recreate my newest Bonnie Fair Isle, you first need to purchase the pattern from Ravelry or Etsy.


These are the colours and yarn stats I used per pattern. Remember, I didn't crochet patterns 4, 17 and 21.


I used a 5mm hook for the main body of the blanket, and a 4mm hook for the double border.

Pattern

Colour A

Grams required

Colour B

Grams required

1

Sage Green

69g

Toffee

55g

2

Pearl White

52g

Light Olive

46g

3

Maroon

72g

Peanut

55g

5

​Dark Turquoise

44g

Light Brown Mix

37g

6

Fog Mix

47g

Cinnamon

37g

7

Dark Brown Mix

52g

Peanut

48g

8

North Sea

84g

Pearl Grey Mix

52g

9

​Mustard

74g

Sage Green

66g

10

Cinnamon

54g

Dark Turquoise

48g

11

Pearl White

152g

Maroon

108g

12

Light Brown Mix

64g

Dark Brown Mix

55g

13

Toffee

62g

Fog Mix

52g

14

Sage Green

29g

Navy Blue

28g

15

Light Olive

117g

Wheat

83g

16

Navy Blue

65g

Pearl Grey Mix

52g

18

Cinnamon

45g

Peanut

40g

19

Mustard

107g

North Sea

75g

20

Dark Brown Mix

32g

Pearl Grey Mix

35g​

Double Border

Maroon

350g

For the double border, I only did two rounds for the front and the back. I didn't want it too big as the blanket was already large and heavy.


So, the first round is the front post round - as detailed in the pattern.

Second round was normal double crochet (US terms) through both loops.

Final round was joining both front and back borders together using single crochet (US terms)


 

Please do share any photos of your Bonnie Fair Isle, on Facebook and Instagram, and tag me and #bonniefairisle #bonniefairislecrochet


I'm away for a hot chocolate and a snuggle now.


Happy crocheting peeps


Abi

xx






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