Feral Knitter

January 2022

Such a confusing month, January, with its confusing mix of new-year energy to get things done and winter urge to slow down and settle in….

Every year I spend some time defining three things I want to focus on in the coming 12 months: a new skill, a new area of knowledge, and a physical aspiration. This is an exercise that I let unfold over a month or two, until the three things come become clear. It’s a great way to get to understand and then direct my desires!

Wishing you all a wonderful 2022! And if one of your goals for the year is to learn 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.


What’s New this Month

I’m teaching a 5-hour virtual class through Maryland Sheep & Wool Winterfest January 29 & 30th: The Fair Isle Scarf: How Color is Used in Fair Isle. I’ll be covering how color is used in Fair Isle design and walking through how to use this information in a tubular scarf—no worries about shaping or fit involved! This is an excellent class for knitters new to Fair Isle knitting and design.

The Colors of Italy retreat is filling fast: only two rooms remain (one of them is a suite perfect for sharing).

I’ve added a new 2-day class on working with color in Fair Isle that will debut at Stitches West in March 2022: Color in Fair Isle Color: From Inspiration to Motif.  Only a couple of spots remain; I will be offering very few in-person classes next year, so take advantage of this opportunity

I’ve added three new colorways to the yarn pack collection: Greg’s Chickens, Hydrangea, and Paprika.

My 2022 is schedule is pretty much set at this point—mostly events and trips that have been postponed from 2020! I’m not planning to do much in-person teaching in the future, but the good news is that I’m going to expand my online class offerings.

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.