Everyone loves Fair Isle garments. They're beautiful and colorful, and when made with real Shetland wool, they're also durable. There are many patterns at Ravelry (some assembled here for you to use!) utilizing Shetland wools.
However, it can be intimidating (especially when just using the internet) to substitute colors for knitting Fair Isle. The demands of different patterns mean that there is no simple way to just choose colors. At Fairlight Fibers, we're always delighted to work with you if you need help selecting your colors, but we'd also like to provide a bit of inspiration. Read on!
Most Fair Isle knitting is done using gradient color palettes. Sometimes this is achieved with just one set of gradients, such as this pretty cardigan from Sandra Manson:
At other times, two contrasting palettes are used, with the lighter yarns in one palette playing against the darker yarns in the other, and vice versa, such as in this Alice Starmore sweater Jess made many years ago:
These pretty cuffs are another example of a project requiring two contrasting palettes: one blue/green/gold, and one gold/pink/red:
In some Fair Isle projects, color selection is more random and free form, left up the knitter to create a simple contrast as they go, as in these lovely mitts:
Choosing your own color palettes for Fair Isle work can be overwhelming, but that's where we can help. Using our Jamieson & Smith 2-Ply Jumper Wool, we've created a series of stunning double-palette colorways for you to peruse and use if you like. Some involve high-contrast colors, others are more subtle. Any of them can be used as single-gradient halves, or together to create contrast. You'll be able to see how sometimes, just switching half the colors (or even a single skein!) can create an entirely different look.
We add more colors of Jumper Wool all the time, so if you don't see just the right combo here, but it seems like Jamieson & Smith carries a color you'd like to add, just email us and ask us if we're adding it soon, or if we can special order it for you. We're always happy to order you any quantity, and if we order more than you need, we add it to our selection for everyone else! Enjoy!
Browns: 1, 202, 2, 78, FC58 Blues/Grays: 21, FC47, 14, 1280, 27
Browns: 1, 202, 2, 78, FC58 Grays/Purples: 1280, FC34, FC29, 366, FC56
Browns: 1, 202, 2, 78, FC58 Pinks/Purples: 1283, FC22, 43, 123, FC56
Browns: 1, 202, 2, 78, FC58 Red/Brown: 1403, 9097, 1284, FC7, FC38
Browns: 1, 202, 2, 78, FC58 Greens/Purples: FC24, 29, 14, 366, FC56
Greens/Purples: FC24, 29, 14, 366, FC56 Black/Cream: 81, 27, 203, 1, 202
Red/Brown: 1403, 9097, 91, FC7, FC38 Greens/Purples: FC24, 29, 14, 366, FC56
Red/Brown: 1403, 9097, 1284, FC7, FC38 Greens/Purples: FC24, 29, 1283, 366, FC56
Red/Brown: 1403, 9097, 1284, FC7, FC38 Lavender/Plum: 123, 1283, FC22, 43, 134
Plum/Lavender: 134, 43, FC22, 1283, 123 Blue/Gray: FC47, FC34, 29, FC24, 1283
Plum/Gray: 134, 43, FC22, 1283, 1283 Cream/Sage: 202, 121, 91, FC11, 29
Blue/Gray: 21, FC47, 14, FC34, 1283 Yellow/Green: 121, 91, FC11, 29, FC24
Blue/Gray: 21, FC47, 14, FC34, 1283 Cream/Brown: 202, 1284, FC7, FC38, FC58
Purple/Pink: FC56, 123, 366, FC22, 1283 Cream/Brown: 202, 1284, FC7, FC38, FC58