knitting shetland

fair isle scarf


a few weeks ago on one of my weekly charity shop jaunts I found this lovely little hand knit Fair Isle scarf, it was stuffed in a box of hats and scarf’s and although a bit dirty and crumpled.. I could see potential!!


Its all in lovely natural colours and simple Fair Isle motifs.(excuse the darkish pictures, it gets dark about 3pm now. gotta love a Shetland winter!) When I washed the scarf a lot of dirt came out.. bleeuch. and those tassles.. looked a bit ropey.. the other issue was it was a bit short, you know when you wrap it around and you know as soon as you went outside it would start flapping around.. especially in Shetland.


so. I had a brainwave. If you know me in real life, well if you ever see me walking to work.. you will know I love a circle scarf. They negate all the dramas of a single ended scarf. #firstworldproblems so, i took of the ropey tassels, rewashed to ends to close the holes..


and sewed together both ends to turn it into a circle scarf!



IMG_4091Im not sure how old the scarf is. But what I do know is it would have sat unused as it was, sometimes when I do these things I know there would be some people cringing at me changing this vintage piece of knitwear but the way I see it, I would rather do something to it to make it wearable than leave it sitting in the cupboard.

I cant wait to wear it since its starting to get pretty chilly. After all, it is nearly December! £6.00 well spent I reckon.

ella xx


20 comments on “fair isle scarf

  1. Aaw that’s a cute wee blog post. Good find (as always) my friend! Xx

  2. I’ve found myself ‘rescuing’ hand knits, too…..and you made this one even better than found. It looks great!

  3. Excellent recycling choice, Ella. It’s beautiful and it’s wearable and useful. I’ve been able to find a few hand knits too. My favorites are the “Fair Isle type” from the Scandinavian countries, all-over small patterns..

  4. Anyone cringing at your careful and considered altering to your scarf must be very finickity and precious indeed…you’ve made the scarf look much nicer while still preserving the body and shape of the Fairisle pattern…… I really do love seeing your wonderful charity shops finds…sadlly most of the “knitwear” I ever seem to see in charity shops here in Norfolk are nasty acrylic high street pieces which are all bobbled and misshapen…’re so lucky living where you find such gorgeous knitted treasures.
    I’m sure whoever knitted the scarf originally would be proper made up to see how what you’ve done with it. Hope it keeps your neck nice and warm when it’s pippy and cold out.

  5. What a great find and now the lonely little scarf will be loved and utilized. You gave it a new life!

  6. Excellent reuse of a very nice piece of knitting. So well done!

  7. Brilliant job with the scarf, Ella! I agree with you – much better to make it into something useful than have it sit in a drawer somewhere. It would be interesting to know its history. A whole story could be written around why the knitter stopped knitting before it was truly long enough to be a useful scarf. :-)

  8. Kathy in Michigan USA

    Like Erika above, I never find such lovely knits in my charity shops as you do, but actually it makes sense that in a place that produces such outstanding knitwear, even the rejects or oldies are high quality. Wish I could shop in Lerwick. I wonder if the little short scarf had been made for a child, hence its length, or for a man who just tucks his scarf into his coat. Thanks for another interesting blogpost, Ella.

  9. That was a bargain!Beautiful colours.

  10. stashdragon

    Smart, smart, smart!

  11. Wonderful, now all you need to do is CHART it out for us………….in your spare time of course!!
    Good job, thank you for the inspiration.

  12. Yup, £6 and a bit of time very well spent.

  13. This is a cute find. I love how the fair isle is in a neutral and can be worn with anything.

  14. galloj1904

    Love that you have ‘re-jigged, the scarf to make it usable!

  15. Great find! Great reuse, Great Recycle always lovely. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Brilliant idea, Ella. As you said, it would otherwise have sat, unloved and unused. When you get fed up with it, you could give it to Wendy to make a Burra Bear for you !

  17. Just would like to say I really love your blog! It inspired me to get an old piece of family knitting out of storage and take a closer look at the design ( Examining old patterns and preserving them is super important, otherwise so much history and tradition will be lost. Can’t wait to keep reading your posts!

  18. I love the scarf! Well done, giving it a new lease on life.

  19. I do love a bit of upcycling. You have certainly rescued this and made it usable. It is a lovely scarf.

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