Feral Knitter

May 2024

I’ve slowly settled into a new pace now that I’ve given up teaching. At first it was hard—but now I find that I’m gathering more energy every day for creative pursuits! If you follow me on Instagram (@janinebajus) you know that I took up painting and visual journaling at the start of the year—and I love how immediate color play in watercolors is when compared with Fair Isle swatching!  My knitting right now revolves around using stash and following patterns, but I expect that I will get the itch to play with color in yarn again before the year is out.

Next week I leave for Yorkshire, Cumbria & the Lake District on another textile tour with Jillian Moreno. I can’t wait to share these travels with you!

Speaking of traveling, our Yorkshire, Cumbria & the Lake District tour in May filled quickly, so we have decided to repeat it in May 2025. Jillian and I are also plotting a Scotland, Shetland, & Skye tour in September 2025—I’m happy to return to my beloved Shetland! You’ll hear about them first in my newsletter.

Sadly, we are not offering a Scotland tour in 2024 as originally planned.

Travel is, for most of us, a real luxury and for most of my life out of range for my budget. But we can travel deeply in place—pausing to really study and appreciate where we are is transformative. I read that, if we were to take a one-yard piece of string, tie it in a loop, and place it on the ground we could spend a lifetime examining what we find inside that circle!!! I recommend Conscious Creativity by Philippa Stanton if you’d like some prompts. All that creativity and engagement need is an open mind and a willingness to be amazed.

Janine ❤️

News and Not-Quite-News but perhaps of interest…..

Kate Davies and Felix Ford have produced a beautiful book: Colour at Work! I can’t begin to summarize the wide variety of essays in this impressive collection—please read more about it on Kate’s website. (Pssst—a short essay of mine is included!)

Are you new to Fair Isle knitting? Let me recommend my two patterns geared to beginners: Dryas Octopetala, a slouchy hat, and the Beginner’s Fair Isle Cap, a small, close-filling cap. Both these patterns include motifs that build in complexity, giving you a chance to build your confidence in carrying two colors at a time.

My approach to Fair Isle knitting is modern and very personal; my goal is to share my deep appreciation for this type of knitting and to help you develop the confidence to plunge into this world of color and pattern.

My newsletter is where you will get the most current information about teaching and travel and new patterns, so please sign up if you haven’t already!


In 2003 I was setting up a Fair Isle color study sub-group of the Seattle Knitters Guild. A non-knitting friend, overhearing the discussion, asked me, apprehension thick in her voice, “Janine, WHAT is a feral knitter?” The name stuck. A feral knitter is someone who loves color knitting, playing with color combinations and garment shapes, and learning about construction and fit.