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Dear Kay,

It’s time. I’m starting my Grace Notes pullover. I’ve been dithering and waffling and tiptoeing around this project. It’s fancy. It has short rows. It’s got a construction thing that I’ve never done before at the top, sort of a top-down/pick-up/head-south/add-some-arms situation that I am frankly slightly nervous about.

I’ve been cranking out dishcloths recently, learning Norwegian knit and purl. Am I ready to take on an actual garment as a novice Norwegian purler? I don’t know. But I am willing to start an actual garment.

As MDK Rule No. 72 says: No project is too ambitious if you crave the result enough.

I crave! See? There’s so much interesting stuff going on in here. Joji looks to be having a swell time in her Grace Notes—I want some of that!

The final hurdle to getting this going is, as always, color. As my grandfather would say, I could lose a crop with all my stalling.

Maybe you can help me decide? After ruling out various colors for various reasons (no blue because I’m long on blue sweaters, no color shown in the Field Guide, no low-stock colors, no superdarks because I ain’t knitting all those twisty cables for nothing), here are three finalists. So impossible to choose—help!

Atlas in Wintergreen.

Atlas in Whisper.

Atlas in Shale.

What color is The Color? Thank you for your thoughts.



PS It’s true: we are running low and out-of-stock on some colors of Atlas, due to supply chain issues. We are working mightily on our restock, but the ETA is uncertain at the moment. If you are jonesing for the following colors of Atlas right now, tarry not: Natural, Tutu, Pebble, Pear, Lapis, and Cork. We will have them back, absolutely. It’s just that we’re low right now.

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By Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne

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  • Definitely whisper

    • I like the wintergreen. Color in winter especially in the northeast.

  • I vote for whisper. The color works so well with silver hair.

    • Totally Whisper with Shale a possible second. Definitely not Wintergreen (just really don’t like this green). My 2 cents!

  • Whisper!

    • Whisper!

  • Shale! Ann, you love murky colors and they love you back!

    • Whisper, pattern will show so well inbthis lighter yarn.

  • Gorgeous sweater! Definitely whisper.

  • I think a color that whispers would be wonderful for a pattern that sings!!

    • Whisper! I’m on my rows of whisper in my blanket of joy and am loving the color more than I thought I would.

  • Wintergreen. Bright enough to make the cables pop

    • I vote Whisper or Shale. Either would be lovely!

  • Whisper!

  • Norwegian purl changed my life 4 years ago. Or I should say Arne and Carlos changed my life. After 60 years of knitting I thought I wouldn’t be able to change but I was wrong! No more aching hands AND beautiful ribbing are my rewards for making the switch!

    • I am teaching myself to do this with videos on Youtube. I decided to knit 2×2 ribbed socks since they are low investment but tons of purling practice. I don’t have it 100% yet, but I am getting there. The knit stitch is definitely faster and easy on the hands so it’s worth the effort to learn the purl

  • Whisper!!

  • Though I am a lover of most greens I find the brighter are not colors you want to wear so frequently so whisper or shale are more lasting and go with more. Beautiful sweater

  • My first pick is shale, followed by wintergreen. Whisper is pretty but oh so pale.

  • I think that Whisper is a lovely, subtle color which would show your work best. Good luck and knit on!

    • Shale all the way!

  • Whisper. Such a go-with-everything color.

  • They are certainly all lovely colors, but as I looked one by one… I knew if I were choosing it would be shale…. Beautiful detail work… choose a neutral color to wear it with more things. The design will look lovely! Can’t wait to see which color whispers loudest in your ear!

  • Team whisper!

  • I vote for Whisper for you. Of the other choices, one is too dark and the other too bright. But there’s always blue!

    • Whisper

  • Whisper!!!! Pale, beautiful twisty cables In WHISPER all the way. Go Ann!!

    • Whisper! You’ll be done with it by early spring, just in time to show off that pretty pink! Close second is Wintergreen.

  • I vote for shale. Mysterious and subtle.

  • whisper – feminine

  • I vote for “whisper”!

    • I’d go with your skin undertones – Wintergreen is vivid, Whisper has cool undertones, Shale is warm – and very versatile, more so than the first two. SHALE is the one I would choose.

      • Brenda’s point about skin undertones is a good one. I’m pale and love mauve-y colors, but they don’t love me. Wintergreen is too bright, so Shale with a cheerful scarf.

  • Shale!

  • Of the three, shale! But personally, I’d want a lighter toned neutral.

  • Shale

  • Whisper gets my vote too!

  • Whisper!

  • Whisper!

  • Well, it’s looking like a runaway for Whisper – but I’ll vote for Shale anyway: because it has other colors mysteriously inside it, and because it would look especially beautiful on blonde you.

  • I vote for whisper.

  • I think whisper will show the cables best.

  • Shale. It’s a beautiful sophisticated neutral with a subtle shine.

  • Whisper!

  • Whisper! Love it

  • The shale is sophisticated and understated.

  • Shale!

  • The Color is Shale.

  • Love your note – your writing brings a smile to my face and i often identify with your descriptions (ie particularly the “dithering and waffling) Normally I’m a lots-of-colour person but i’m leaning towards more neutral tones these days to get more wear out of my clothes so I vote for the Whisper. It looks like a seasonless color that could coordinate with many things so you’d be able to wear the sweater more!

  • Loving the sophisticated shale!

  • Whisper

  • Whisper all the way!

  • Whisper. The pale pink will work so well with many other colors.

    I avoided pink for a long time. Then I feel in love with a pale pink cashmere. This Atlas is that color. Light enough to provide contrast. More interesting than white. Perfect with browns, black, and dark blues. And creamy white, of course.

    None would be a wrong choice, but you asked for a vote. And I know that in my world the pale pink sweater gets a lot of play time.

  • It’s got to be Shale for you, Ann.

  • Def wintergreen! I love the whisper but it would wash you out.

  • Whisper!

  • Ah, whisper.

  • Yes, whisper. This pattern calls for a subtle color. The design makes the statement. Happy knitting! Merry Christmas!

  • Whisper!

  • Shale

  • Wintergreen or whisper

  • Shale! It’s the color of my Weimaraner. How can you go wrong with that?

  • Whisper. I love my Grace Notes made with creative linen in a mustard color. One day I will make it again and use Atlas.

  • I love whisper as a color. But it brings to mind a friend who was shopping for a wedding dress, taking pics of each one as she tried them on. She was surprised to see one pic where she was naked – except not quite? Skin tone matched pretty exactly with shell pink.

    Consider some Shayne Shale, is all I’m saying.

  • The cheeriest color to choose is Wintergreen…’ll have it done by Paddy’s Day.

  • They are all beautiful, but I would have to choose Whisper.

  • Wintergreen – you will be done in plenty of time for the wearing of the green that happens every March 17th!

  • love each, but go w/ WHISPER

    • I’m a fan of Whisper and it does coordinate with a lot of other colors but it’s apt to make a fair skinned person look washed out. I would choose Shale.

  • Whisper gets my vote

  • Shale for sure!

  • Whisper

  • No bad choices but I think shale would be stunning.

  • Wintergreen. It’s nice to have a cheery color that pops in this season. You will look great

  • Shayne’s Shale!

  • Whisper it is ! What a beautiful color

  • Whisper, it’s a beautiful neutral.

  • Whisper! I’m starting mine in whisper right after the holidays.

  • Voting for Wintergreen. Not for everyone but would be perfect for your coloring I think. When I was a teen my mom sewed me a vest and skirt set in a very similar green and I was a bit shy of wearing it as it was so bright and I mostly liked to fade in the background. But I got more complements on that outfit than anything else I ever wore. I still think of it fondly. So I say: go for it!

  • I vote for Wintergreen, it makes a statement of bold and beautiful!!!!

  • I did mine in Shale and it turned out beautiful.

  • Definitely shale.

  • Mine is in Seaglass, but Whisper was a strong second. I don’t like brown, but that Shale seems like a nice neutral.
    I’m about to start down the second front and all is going well except I kind of want to close the neck before joining the sides. Let us know how it goes!

  • Wintergreen, bright and cheerful for dreary days.

  • Such a pretty sweater in any color but I love the Whisper colorway. I think the cables would show upbeat in a light color.

  • Whisper! Unless you need a St. Patrick’s Day sweater, then wintergreen!

  • Wintergreen! It’s so sassy! This is the third sweater I’ve ever knitted and I haven’t really liked the other two. So it has been super intimidating. But I LOVE Atlas for this. I’m just taking my time and the cables are soooooo rewarding. I’m afraid it’s going to be too small, and I did swatch. I’m at the underarm join, trying to figure out how to get a few more increases in before joining.

  • Not Wintergreen, nope! I think you’d look washed out in Whisper. But Shale? Absolutely! A rich color with depth.

  • Shale, the best choice!

  • That is a tough choice as all the colors are lovely. I usually tend to select more neutral colors in situations like this. But I look at the Wintergreen and think of how those cables would resemble holiday garland wrapped around the stair railings or the fresh ivy of spring climbing toward the sunshine and the promise of the warmth that is to come.

  • Whisper would be amazing.

  • Wintergreen for the win. So bright and fresh.

  • Shale is gorgeous and won’t show spaghetti sauce!

  • Go green!!

  • Definitely Whisper!

  • I was vacillating between Whisper and Wintergreen, weighing the pros and cons. Alas, Wintergreen it is! It’s unusual, the cables will show nicely, and it will be ever so cheery a color in the winter!

  • Shale! It’s a gorgeous dark neutral and will go with everything.

  • Shale!

  • Team shale.

  • I love the green but I vote for Whisper! The color is very flattering and it’ll show off the intricacies of the pattern beautifully.

  • Wintergreen! When you own your own yarn company and have a closet full of sweaters, you don’t have to be ‘practical’ with the next one knit. Go with wintergreen. I bet you don’t have one that color.

  • Team shale, for sure.

  • Whisper

  • Shale….all the way

  • shale

  • Whisper to show cables

  • Whisper. But I love all things lavender

  • shale. totally.

  • Shale!

  • Whisper, all the way!! Hey!!! (Football cheer since it’s bowl season)

  • You have asked and whisper has a veritable fan club. But what if you want shale? Will you choose it anyway? It is such a lovely and agreeable color, plays well with others.

  • All hale, Shale! It’s the perfect slightly moody neutral that will act as the perfect foil for those bright accessories, including Pantone’s Viva Magenta

  • Shale. You’ll wear it.

  • Whisper would be lovely!

  • loving the whisper, clean and pearl like…goes with everything

  • Wintergreen

  • I’m thinking Peat, but what color of the three choices looks the best on you.

    • Oops Shale

  • Shale.
    Whisper looks too pale for your coloring. We all have those colors that don’t do us justice and its soften the colors we want the most.

    Jewel tones make me look like a corpse.

  • I’m usually a green person but I think whisper would look gorgeous.

  • Shale would be my choice from these selections.

  • Whisper!! Those cables will show up beautifully!

  • I wanted to pick Whisper but I think Shale is the best of these three for you

  • I can’t help you decide,but I also can’t wait to see what you pick!

  • I’m with the whisperers, best for cables, plays well with others

  • Wintergreen!!!

  • Whisper all the way!!!!

  • Whisper is the winner.

  • Shale!!! the perfect neutral.

  • Whisper or Shale would be my choices, both so pretty!

  • Absolutely Whisper.

  • Whisper!!!

  • Also, your grandfather’s quote is a keeper. I totally get the dithering. Color choices stymie and paralyze me, so hard to commit.
    Still solid on the Shale choice, however.

  • Shale definitely. It goes with everything, just look at nature.

  • Whisper! Unless you’re pairing it with one of your honeycomb scarves; then choose the scarf first and the right color will jump at you.

  • Love all three but think WHISPER will show off the cables. Wintergreen is a close second.

  • 1st choice: Whisper. 2nd choice: Shale

  • Any one of these colors would be fabulous on you, but I’m pretty sure you will pick Shale. Can’t wait to see how it turns out, I’m still getting up the nerve to start Grace for my daughter!

  • Wintergreen – will make for lively knitting!

  • Shale

  • I am a huge fan of Whisper but on this one, I would go with Shale. The sweater has so much going on that it needs a calm headed best friend to let it shine. Indeed, Shale would be the wind beneath its wings.

  • I would say wintergreen because just when you’re finishing you’ll be craving anything green and it will be there for you.

  • Whisper, but Shale is lovely, too.

  • Whisper—you have more than enough green.

  • Whisper. It’s the color I would knit for myself and would look so good on you.

  • I vote for Whisper; romantically soft shade.

  • Grace notes whisper!

  • I like the whisper

  • Shale!!!

  • Yes, Whisper! The cables would truly sing in that shade.

  • The Whisper would be beautiful!

  • Oh wow – LOVE all of them! Have to say I have no green sweaters and I am jonesing for one to wear for St. Patty’s Day so that’s my vote. But you can’t go wrong!

  • Shale

  • Of these three, choose shale. It should work with nearly everything in your wardrobe. Otherwise, go bold with barn red, clementine, or citron.

  • Wintergreen. It will cheer you up during the gray days Everyone else too.

  • Shale for me, whisper for you!

  • I think you would look best in whisper

  • Shale would show off those cables!

  • I love the whisper color.

  • Oh, shale, sophisticated shale!

  • Absolutely green!!! Green means hope, life, joy — green means SPRING!!!

  • Shale

  • Shale, shale, shale. Moody neutrals all the way.

  • I was thinking Shale at first because I tend to play down colors for myself. HOWEVER go with Wintergreen – it’s gorgeous and will pop as we enter the winter months. I am hoping to restart my Grace Notes sweater over the holidays. The blog you had about it a while ago helped me with the shoulder struggle I was experiencing. Now I am ready to frog it back to the start and get it done. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year and thank you for all the joy you bring to my life with your field guides and blogs.

  • Not meaning to double vote, but I also don’t see my comment – On the other hand, Team Shale could use some help, and we ARE right 😉

    • Thank you, Pam.

  • (Whispering) WHISPER!!! So pretty, a beautiful pale hug.

  • Whisper would be a dream in this sweater. I learned Norwegian k/p during COVID watching Arne and Carlos and never looked back. I only throw when I am doing Fair Isle and need to use 2 colors at once. You will love it!

    • I already voted for Whisper. Then I watched Arne & Carlos & Carlos said if you like a color knit with it. Or that was my take away. Anyway I have coveted Wintergreen since the birth of the Atlas yarn. So I’m changing my vote to Wintergreen if that is where your heart is. And I’m going to grab some for myself!!

  • Looks like you got plenty of advise. Good luck.

  • Gotta be Whisper.

  • First choice: Whisper. The sweater will be gorgeous in it! BUT if you feel a paler color is not so flattering, go with the Shale. It will show off the cables and be more calming

  • I love wintergreen! What a wonderful green!

  • Wintergreen. It is so cheerful and bright, perfect for winter.

  • Whisper first, shale second. You, (maybe I should say I) would wear those colors over and over again.

  • Shale would be great with your coloring!

  • I think shale would be the most wearable color, as long as it’s not too dark in real life. I’d do a sample swatch of the cables to see if they show up in the color. Whisper is beautiful, but I just don’t see myself wearing a baby pink sweater very often.

  • Whisper. It will show off the cables and pair with everything

  • Team Wintergreen! It will keep you feeling Christmassy for now, full of St. Patrick’s good luck when you need it, and a bright pick-you-up through the dreary days of winter! And green goes with everything and makes you feel jaunty!

  • Shale, absolutely.

  • Whisper.

  • You will look fabulous in Whisper, although Wintergreen is a close second. Shale = dull.

  • Whisper or Shale. But I’d make sure the Whisper doesn’t wash you out too much before going in that direction. Both colors are beautiful.

  • Wintergreen! It will look fabulous on you and brighten up the grey days of winter.

  • Shale is beautiful!!

  • I’ll add my 2 cents worth: whisper! Go for it and love whichever you choose. Or, maybe do stripes?? No no no no no. Only one color!!!

  • Green is your color Ann, so I vote Wintergreen! I made my Grace Notes in Pebble, and is by far my favorite sweater I have ever knitted. I will be making another, color TBD.

  • Wi tergreen, for sure

  • Assuming all three look good with your coloring, then I’d pick Wintergreen.

    I really love the cables of this sweater – I’m dithering and wondering if I can do a mash-up with a pattern with set-in sleeves.

  • Ann, even though you asked for Kay’s opinion, I feel it’s OK to put in my two cents. The three colors, Wintergreen, Whisper, Shale are all very nice. Of the three, the Whisper will be very pretty on you. It just calls out to me that this color is for you with this style of sweater. The bonus here is that it will also quite nicely showcase those “twisty cables”.

  • All are pretty, try imagining the sweater in your closet in all three colors- which would you grab first?

  • I thought this pattern had to be knit in the lightest colors to show off its details. That said, I checked out the Ravelry gallery for my favorite, Shale, and it looks great! Ribbing on other projects knit in Shale looks great too.

  • I vote wintergreen! It’s a beautiful sweater and this color will ensure it’s a statement piece.

  • Team Whisper!! I knitted my Escalator Scarf in Whisper and love it.

  • Shale or Wintergreen. Whisper is too neutral for me.

  • Whisper or Wintergreen! The Shale is a tad to dark for winter. Need something a little sunny to knit on this time of year. 🙂

  • Shale—the only serious choice!

  • Shale – so classic for a classic design.

  • Definitely Wintergreen- it’ll cheer everyone up each time you wear it

  • I’m sitting here working on a leek Grace Notes but I do love the whisper and shale.

  • I would go for the winter green. It would look lovely on you.

  • Whisper!

  • Of the three, whisper… my first choice would be leek, rather than wintergreen for a green..

  • I love Whisper and Shale but I think Whisper will show off the cables better, plus it’s very Spring like.

  • Whisper such a beautiful name for a very versatile color.

  • 1st Choice – Whisper; 2nd Choice – Wintergreen ….. I’m still studying my stash ……

  • For me, it would definitely be Wintergreen. I love the color. Even though I don’t have anything else green right now, it would nevertheless go with almost everything I do have. But as I look at these three, thinking of you, Shale hollers out, “ANN WANTS ME AND I LOVE HER!”

  • Wintergreen. Be bold.

  • That Whisper would be stunning on you.

  • Shale, for sure. You will look great in a soft brown.

  • Whisper! The models are both in light, soft colours, and they seem to suit this pattern! It’s a lighthearted colour to knit at the darkest part of the year.

  • Whisper!

  • I’m making one in Skyline, but, I really like Whisper too.

  • Whisper, for sure!

  • I like Shale

  • Whisper would really showcase the cables

  • Go for the Shale – murky all the way.

  • Anything but green

  • Definitely Whisper

  • Definitely Wintergreen! Drab winter months call for color!!

  • I think Whisper will give the best bang for your pattern.

  • Shale. I’m not a fan of the green.

  • Definitely NOT the Wintergreen. Love the Shale. That would be my choice.

  • Shale. Definitely shale.

  • Personally I would go for the bright green but think Whisper would be lovely too

  • I would wait until you can choose a color you’re delighted with. None of these does anything for me. Sigh.

  • Wintergreen!

  • Whisper…a lighter color to show off the cables

  • Of those choices, I would always vote for the green. Enjoy.

  • Whisper is very pretty, but I think I like shale, too!

  • Hands down, whisper!

  • Wintergreen is fantastically bright and beautiful

  • Whisper would look fabulous on you?

  • Wintergreen would really pop! It would look great heading into spring.

  • Wintergreen!

  • Wintergreen would brighten even the bleakest of winter days.

  • Shade

  • Whisper

  • I loved making this sweater and might just make another. One reason is that I ‘d like to give that shoulder pick up bit another go, but also because it’s one of the best fitting sweaters I’ve ever worn. Love Joji’s sweaters for that! Mine is in a Whisper-like color, so I highly recommend that one!

  • Must be Whisper! I love the softness of the color and it will allow the cables to shine!

  • Wintergreen seems too much like St Pat’s day. It would be fun to have a really nice sweater for that day, but a lot of work for a few days each year. Unless one is Irish ☘️ it might not be worth the time.

    Shale, to me is taupe. Which is brownish grey. Classic. If your skin tone can look non-ill while wearing it.

    I like Whisper. A little too pale, but would show off patterns well.

  • I vote for Whisper. So subtle and so lovey.

  • Wintergreen! And I want to knit one, too!

  • Whisper

  • Shale is awesome. Looks like it will work for several seasons too!

  • I like the rich color in the shale .

  • Whisper. No doubt in my mind it will be gorgeous in that color.

  • I think Whisper is too pale for your coloring. I vote for Shale.

  • Shale is THE color. At least of the 3 colors I see it is the only one I would use for a challenging gaunt.

  • First choice: Whisper. Shale is OK too. Definitely NOT Wintergreen!!

  • I vote for Whisper! It is a timeless color and I am sure it is flattering. You can’t go wrong if you love the color you choose.

  • Definitely Whisper!

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