Knitting Feeds

Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 02/15/2017 - 11:30
From fashion and decor to all things knitting related, ombres and gradients are a big color story right now. Shading from light to dark or soft to bright, they're packed with appeal and add visual interest without being overly distracting, so it's easy to understand their popularity.

If you're a regular, you know I'm a long-time fan of ombres and gradients, which appear in many designs and projects.

For our purposes today, let's agree a finished ombre or gradient consists of at least three shades, which can be created using various techniques. With that as our starting point, let's look at five easy ways to build your own combinations.


1. Simple custom gradient.
  • Choose three or more colors in the same family.
  • Arrange them from dark to light or light to dark.
  • Work colors in sequence. (Color Check: three in each color family)
  • Or situate them on the diagonal. (Lucben Tidepool: five shades in one color family)

COLOR CHECK

 LUCBEN TIDEPOOL


2. Three-color gradient. 
  • Choose two related colors.
  • Work the first section with CC1 only.
  • Work the second section with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work the third section with CC2 only.

 PLUMBERRY SCARF

3. Four-color gradient.
  • Choose five shades in related color families. 
  • Pair them by value: dark with dark, medium with medium, and light with light.
  • Work the first section with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work the second section with CC2 and CC3.
  • Work the third section with CC3 and CC4.
  • Work the fourth section with CC4 and CC5.

  TWEGEN COFFEE


4. Five-color gradient.
  • Choose three related colors.
  • Arrange them from dark to light or light to dark.
  • Work the first section with CC1 only.
  • Work the second section with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work the third section with CC2 only.
  • Work the fourth section with CC2 and CC3.
  • Work the fifth section with CC3 only.
 KINTRA NEARLY NEUTRAL
 KINTRA GREYRIDGE

Building your own ombres and gradients is a superb way to burn through stash, because suddenly awkward orphans and singletons can be combined in fresh and interesting ways. The key is to pick a strategy and swatch, swatch, swatch.

In knitting, there are many fast and easy ways to blend two colors. Try multi-stranding and simply carry one strand of each color. Consider working a basic garter or stockinette stitch, alternating colors every other row. Do the same, but substitute seed or double seed stitch to produce stippled stripes that blend closely related shades. Or choose something like the fluted rib stitch, which systematically weaves colors in and out.

The possibilities are endless, of course, and hopefully these strategies will inspire you to experiment. As time permits, I'll share additional techniques and examples to illustrate more ways to create your own custom gradients and ombres.

Just remember no matter which strategy you choose, the closer the colors are in tone and value, the more blended they'll appear in the finished fabric. Speaking of which, I'm off to play with different approaches to see if I can turn these yarns into my own custom blue-green gradient:




For more examples, see:
Ombres & Gradients: What's the Difference? 
Ombres & Gradients: 5 More Ways to Create Your Own (coming soon)
Stashbusting Strategies (Part II)

For more color talk, click here.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Slow Learner

Yarn Harlot - Tue, 02/14/2017 - 22:28

I suppose what I’m living right now could be considered a failure to learn from my past, but I like to think of it as a terminal sort of optimism. Every time I book trips really close together, I look at the calendar, do the math and then think “Oh, it’ll be just fine.” It’s like I think that everything that was difficult about it every time before this is a problem that’s entirely gone away – or that I’ve suddenly become a completely different sort of person. Then my plane lands, and I start the process of a two day turnaround, and realize that I’m still me, and this is still a problem, and this is all a long way of saying I’m rushing to get out the door early in the morning for Madrona after returning  home late Sunday night, so here’s a short blog post, just to show you a finished thing.

Pattern: Bermuda (but I faked it at the end and made it bigger so that I’d use up every inch of my yarn.)

Yarn: The January Shipment of  the CaterpillarGreen yarn club. It was an extra large skein (170g) of shawl striping, MCN fingering.

I finished it the last day we were in Scottsdale, and it looked so at home there that it was almost a shame to bring it home to the snow. (But I did.)

Voila! Now, if you don’t mind, I have to go and continue semi-hysterically unpacking and re-packing a suitcase, while making a mental note that I’ll do this again next week. I expect it will go better then.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

No dust on these needles

Knitting to Stay Sane - Tue, 02/14/2017 - 16:41
The year 2016 saw me finishing my epic sock yarn granny square blanket, which let me tell you I am glad to have finished and draped over my couch. It’s an awesome thing to have completed. The downside of this epic pursuit is that in 2016 I finished very little else of significance. I did […]
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Modification Monday: Gramps Hack

Knitted Bliss - Mon, 02/13/2017 - 11:00

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Original Pattern: Gramps and Baa-ble Hat Knitter Extraordinaire: Rosie (Ravelry ID) Mods: Using the Gramps sweater pattern as the base, Rosie knitted the sweater in the round with a steek using the colourwork chart from Baa-ble. She also eliminated the shawl cowl and added waist shaping. Details can be found on her project page, here.

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

the lighter side of winter

Autumn Geisha - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 13:56
"Why, what's the matter,
That you have such a February face,So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?"
William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing 
And so we find ourselves in February! Trying hard not to hibernate the rest of winter away by injecting as much sunlight and colors into my days as possible. Luckily, adding a little brightness to my knitting is as easy as casting on a new pair of stripey socks in Valentine's Day colors:


And my winter fade is heading into the lighter side of the season:


Any plans for Valentine's Day? We'll probably spend it at home. I'm thinking of ordering lobster, filet mignon & chocolate covered strawberries from a local restaurant to celebrate my two guys. Hope that you are finding ways to brighten your February days as well!
Categories: Knitting Feeds

WIPs | Grey Daze Mitts & Shawl

Knitting | Work in Progress - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 13:30
So far, this winter has been a temperature rollercoaster. Cold. Warm. Cold. Warm. Cold. In other respects, it's been remarkably consistent: Grey. Gloomy. Grey. Overcast. Grey.

Since I'm not a winter person, I happily welcome the comparatively warmer days, but knitting-wise it leads to a split personality. Some days, it's absolutely impossible to have too many warm, woolly knits on one's self, the needles or both. Other days, it's difficult to resist the lure of lighter-weight fibers and spring-like designs. 
At the warm and woolly end of the spectrum, I've been working on a cozy shawl and coordinating fingerless mitts.


The mitts are finished, ready to be blocked and worn. 


The shawl is worked sideways (tip to tip) and the second wing is underway, so it's a little more than halfway done.


I'd hoped to finish the shawl this week, but knitting time has been scarce so that didn't happen.



Grey Daze Shawl & Mitts
Pattern: Kintra Mitts
Pattern: Shawl (personal pattern)
Yarn: Amherst (Valley Yarns)
Colors: Burgundy, Natural, ThistleNeedle: US 10 (6 mm)Mitts: ~100 yardsShawl: ~450 yards

Spring is hovering on the distant horizon but it's as capricious as winter, so I'm highly motivated to finish this set, knowing there'll be plenty of opportunities to wear it in the coming weeks (or months).
Once the shawl is completed, the grey streak will come to a temporary halt. There's another predominantly grey project in the planning pipeline, but there are also concept swatches and colorful afghans loudly demanding immediate attention. When projects are complaining at the top of their lungs (as these have been), undivided attention and quality knitting time are the only ways to restore order, soothe their hurt feelings and silence that annoying, high-pitched whine.

What projects are clamoring for your attention?


Happy Valentine's Day one and all!

Categories: Knitting Feeds

February Indie Dyer~ Long Dog Yarn

My Sister's Knitter - Sun, 02/12/2017 - 07:37
Happy Sunday! Hope you week was kind and gentle to you. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to this month's featured indie dyer. As you know this year I am introducing you to some talented indie dyers in the hope that you find some new loves. And here... Andi
Categories: Knitting Feeds

On the Move

Yarn Harlot - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 20:49

Ah, here we are… this post comes to you from Scottsdale, Arizona, where I am working poolside in the sunshine, while Joe does likewise. We made our way here from the Grand Canyon, a quick stopover between Vegas and here, and I gotta tell you, I’ve felt ridiculously lucky these last several days. Joe’s relationships have really worked out for me. I’ve managed to fit in work and (most of) the things I need to do as we go from event to event and place to place, and every day I’ve seen something amazing. I saw The Valley of Fire again (still a favourite, and the only hiking we had time to do in Vegas) and I saw Elton John live (just as amazing as you’re imagining right now.)  I watched the sun set and rise  during 20 glorious hours at the Grand Canyon.  I walked on the top of the Bright Angel Trail that leads to the bottom, and I hiked seven kilometres around the southern rim.

I saw elk, I had lunch in Sedona, I saw cactus in the desert, and we looked longingly at San Francisco Peaks as we drove by. We took the scenic route every time we could. We’ve eaten good food, we’ve enjoyed the company of great people, and I have knit, and knit, and knit. I’ve knit in the car, at dinner, during social events, at concerts… I finished a pair of socks…

Yarn: Muststash Kama Sutra. (Well look at that. I looked it up to get you a link, and it’s actually a colourway you can order. it’s a miracle! Usually stuff’s been kicking around the stash so long that’s not a thing.) Pattern: I faked it, but Smooth Operator is really similar. Needles: 2.25mm.

They fit like a dream, and I adore them. I’m so glad that I recognized up front that I wanted these to be mine and knit them in my size. I’d be really hard pressed to give them up.

I finished my Bermuda shawl, and it’s drying in the sun right this very minute – pictures of that beauty when it’s dry – but best yet, I made my swatch for the beginning of Impending Grandson’s blanket.

I took a few of the suggestions in the comments – though I’m keeping most of the symbolism quiet until the right time. I went down a needle size after a few rows, finding the work too open – and I did my best to block it, considering how limited my resources were in the hotel room (I’ll be adding a wee container of pins to my travel kit) but I’m pretty sure I like what I’ve got now. The yarn is Juniper Moon Findley – 50/50 merino/silk, and it’s a perfect choice. I did the math for the middle part, cast on provisionally yesterday (in the car, somewhere around Flagstaff) and this afternoon when it’s quiet, I’ll get my first few rows in. It’s full speed ahead to blankieville and I’m practically giddy with excitement.*

*Thanks for being the people that I can say that to. I’m here with non-knitters, and while they’re quite lovely about it, it would be safe to say that if I told them that I was giddy with excitement about a blanket centre, I’d certainly be misunderstood as an artist.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Finished object: Smoky Lake cardigan

Knitting to Stay Sane - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 20:44
Finishing a sweater, with time to spare to wear it in the current winter season, is a pretty awesome thing, my pals. I cast off this guy a couple of days ago and after a wash and generous blocking/drying time (bulky wool does take its time to dry), it was ready for the final step […]
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 02/10/2017 - 11:00

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My Favourite Articles and Links This Week This virtual tour of a French butter factory is amazing. Trust me. Yes, planning for travel can be hard work and a bit of pain. But the happiness is worth it. Self-care during a season of negativity. You know those raccoon fur pom poms that are suddenly everywhere?

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

Stripes and More: Two Skein Knitting Projects

Knitted Bliss - Thu, 02/09/2017 - 11:00

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If your stash is anything like mine, you have a lot of fingering weight skeins. They are easy to buy and easy to stash, so it comes as little surprise when you eventually realize you have a whole bunch of lonely, single skeins of fingering weight and sock yarn. I recently found two skeins in

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Categories: Knitting Feeds

The view from the almost-finished line

Knitting to Stay Sane - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 20:07
So, whenever there is an unseasonably warm spell during the middle of winter, you know how there are some people who complain that it doesn’t really feel like winter when it’s so warm and there’s no snow? Friends, I am one of those jerks. I am the asshole who hates to see +7C and mud […]
Categories: Knitting Feeds

Ombres & Gradients: What's the Difference?

Knitting | Work in Progress - Wed, 02/08/2017 - 13:00
What's the difference between ombres and gradients?

Great question. It seems most people use the terms interchangeably, and I've not seen a good definition that distinguishes the two. For those of us who like to wallow in the details, however, there are subtle distinctions (at least in my mind).

An ombre scheme, whether it features commercially dyed yarn or a build-your-own approach, focuses on one color family and incorporates varied shades that progress from saturated to pale or dark to light. This Kintra mitt illustrates a very basic DIY ombre with neutrals that move from dark (black) to medium (grey) to light (cream).


A gradient, on the other hand, can incorporate shades from any color family, related or radically different. Both simple and complex gradients typically feature a transitional section that flows one color into the next. This slip-stitch scarf illustrates the basic principle, blending red and purple to create plum.




Gradients have long been one of my favorite strategies for optimizing yarn from stash. Twegen Harvest is a good example. With warm shades ranging from lemon squash to heritage pumpkin, it effectively transformed eight related but different singletons into something useful and attractive.




Ombres and gradients are a hot color story in knitting world for obvious reasons. It's certainly difficult to beat their visual appeal and versatility, whether you choose to build your own or opt for a commercially dyed version.

So, tell me, how do you define ombres and gradients?


To read more about color strategies, including gradients and ombres, click here.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

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