Feral Knitter

October  2023

Our Iceland tour was marvelous! The most exciting times were spent during réttir—the annual gathering in of the sheep from the mountains. Watching the sheep pour down the hillside and into a giant fenced area above the sea, guided by farmers on horses and ATVs, was a wonderful experience. And then helping farmers guide the sheep into the sorting pens, divided into segments for each farm, by waving my arms and shouting! That’s the thing about being a knitter: we get to experience the world through a lens of fiber and to see how we are all connected with the world. 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!

While on the Iceland tour I taught a class on adapting lopapeysa patterns with short rows and steeks. Several people said they would like to take another class from me and were disappointed that I am retiring from teaching. If this is you, please consider the North Coast San Diego Knitting Guild events November 8-10; 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.