Introduction to Marlisle with Anna Maltz

(includes tea/coffee and day entry to the unravel festival)

with Anna Maltz


Marlisle (combining marl and colourwork, aka fairisle) is an unusual technique for creating decorative texture and colour shifts with a particular focus on seamless knitting in the round. Marlisle allows patches of stranded colourwork to be scattered around a project without the use of intarsia while avoiding unworkably long floats. It can be used to combine different weights of yarn, throw new light on your stash, overcome frustrations like jogging stripes and can even be used to adapt existing patterns. It’s a fun way to change how you look at knitting.

As an entry point into understanding this novel approach, you’ll create a circular swatch from a choice of designs provided (we might even get round to a sneaky bit of steeking).

Level/ Ability: Intermediate/advanced beginner. Suitable for a range of skill levels, but perhaps most exciting for knitters who have experimented with stranded colourwork and intarsia and understand the limitations of these existing techniques. The aim is to send you off inspired. Existing knowledge required: Must have experience of colourwork and be confident knitting in the round.

Skills covered

– following a Marlisle stitch pattern from a chart

– working a swatch in the round, including basic knotted steek

– combining colours

– deducing tension

To bring

– pencil (at least 2 colours), scissors, ruler or tape measure

– 4ply/fingering yarn in 2 contrasting, but harmonious colours. At least 25gr of each.

Go for 100% wool, ideally not super wash treated – you want something a little ‘sticky’.

– 3.25mm DPNs or circular needles long enough for magic loop (depending on personal preference and existing knowledge). Students can bring a range of sizes from 2.5mm to 4.5mm, if they wish to adjust for their personal tension on the fly.

Note: You can bring DK/light worsted yarn instead (or in addition) and corresponding needle sizes.

Homework: Work out which needle size works for you to get a DENSE garter stitch using two 4ply yarns held together.

About Anna 

Anna Maltz is an avid sweaterspotter, icecream aficionado and people-watcher (even when they are not wearing knitwear). She writes a regular column in Pom Pom Quarterly, contributes writing and patterns to many other publications and knits everywhere she goes. She published a book of knitting patterns inspired by penguins and is introducing knitters to Marlisle a technique she champions.

Coming from a long line of artists, weavers, architects and assorted other makers, boredom was never an option. She calls London home and is the first of her family to be born in Britain. After doing her time knitting in the art world she sidestepped into designing knitting patterns infused with an engagement in the joy of making. Knitting satisfies her love of technical intricacies, a good puzzle, hands-on activities, community, colour and ideas. Teaching has always been part of her career with a particular focus on playing and encouraging independence and experimentation. You can find her as @sweaterspotter on Instagram and at

Introduction to Marlisle with Anna is on Saturday 17 Feb, 2pm – 5pm. Book your ticket here