Feral Knitter

September 2023

September always feels like the true start of the year! So deeply embedded is the memory of the excitement of a new school year that the excitement and sense of new beginnings remains after all these years…

Without planning it I took August off: knitting other people’s patterns, not posting to Instagram, staying close to home. It was lovely—and I’m not in a hurry to change this state of affairs! The decision to stop teaching will eventually free up energy for designing, writing, and taking folks on tours but I’m taking it slow. Jillian and I are already planning trips to Yorkshire and the Lake District in May 2024 and Scotland in August 2024. I’ll let you know as soon as they are ready for registration!

One more teaching event remains on the calendar: The North Coast San Diego Knitting Guild is hosting me November 8-10 and I’ll be teaching Choosing Color for Fair Isle Knitting, Steeks, and Shaped Shoulders in the Round. These classes are available for non-guild members so please take a look if you’ve always wanted to take a class with me but kept putting it off!

Whatever directions your life takes I hope that you face them with an open heart and open hand.

Janine ❤️

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

I designed a special stranded cowl based on a Celtic key design for the trip: the Aisling Cowl. The pattern is now available on Ravelry.

If you’d like to know more about my work, I recently wrote an essay for Kate Davies’ blog entitled Colour and Feeling. And Felix of Knitsonik interviewed me: A Conversation with Janine Bajus AKA The Feral Knitter.

The Redbud Vest pattern is now available in a digital version! When converting it from the paper version I corrected a few issues and added more information about steeking. If you purchased a paper copy of the pattern you can find all corrections on Ravelry; you can download the steek information here.

Because I’m not teaching this year I’ve reduced the price of the large yarn packs yet again— 40% off. These packs consist of 12 shades of Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift—I’ve created a number of color ways that are especially useful if you aren’t sure about choosing colors or if you don’t have a nearby yarn shop.

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.