It's been quite some time since I've posted here! I've recently started my first Fair Isle, so I thought perhaps I'd write about it.
I've decided to knit Ann Feitelson's "Hillswick Lumber," a sweater I've had on my to-do-someday list since I bought her book "The Art of Far Isle Knitting" some years ago. The price of authentic Shetland yarns has kept me from knitting any Fair Isle sweaters, as I really couldn't bring myself to spend upwards of $200 on one sweater. My husband started a new job in February, for which we are very thankful, but as his company laid-off a few people just last month and everyone else had to take a pay cut, now was not the time to be placing an order for a sweater's worth of Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift.
Although I'm sure there are some folks who would disagree, I decided to order Knit Pick's Palette yarn for my sweater. My in-laws sent me some money for my birthday last month. I initially thought I'd spend it on something other than yarn, but that didn't happen!
I don't have a color card for Palette, but I do have a color card for Jamieson's yarns. Using that, a Jamieson & Smith-to-Jamieson's conversion chart, pictures on Ravelry of other Hillswick Lumbers, and comparing what Palette balls I already have to pictures Knit Picks has online and in their printed catalog, I ordered the colors I thought would best match what the pattern calls for. (I found the photos in the catalog to be the most accurate.) Palette didn't come in the blue-violet I needed, so I ordered 2 skeins of Jamieson's purple (#610). So far the yarns are playing well together!
I've gotten through the ribbing and have finished the first repeat of the first pattern. I'm quite pleased with it so far! The colors are much brighter than the photo in the book, but seem to be in-line with photos I've seen on Ravelry, and with photos Ms. Feitelson shows of parts of this sweater in examples throughout her book.
Maybe Palette will not be as hard-wearing as true Shetland yarn would be and maybe it will pill. It remains to be seen. Someday I'll get to knit a Fair Isle out of real Shetland yarns, but for now I'll be content to drool over my color card, hopefully while finally wearing my first Fair Isle that cost me less than $70!