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May 24, 2017

How to Create a 7-Stage Gradient

By now, it's obvious I'm a fan of ombres and gradients in all their forms, but there's something particularly appealing about seven-stage gradients, the next topic in our ongoing series.

Recently, I mentioned an easy way to adapt a six-stage gradient to create a seven-color version. Today, we're focusing on a different approach, but it works equally well.


6. Seven-stage gradientColsie Green Gradient Mitts



Stitch. This fast, easy slipped rib stitch is stretchy, reversible and does a respectable job of blending colors.

Strategy.  Solid sections are connected by transitional sections with two-row stripes. To achieve a
 similar look:

  • Choose four related colors. 
  • Arrange them dark to light or light to dark.
  • Work section 1 with CC1.
  • Work section 2 with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work section 3 with CC2.
  • Work section 4 with CC2 and CC3.
  • Work section 5 with CC3.
  • Work section 6 with CC3 and CC4.
  • Work section 7 with CC4.

                  In this instance, the colors were worked as follows:
                  • Section 1: New Age Teal
                  • Section 2: New Age Teal and Sage
                  • Section 3: Sage
                  • Section 4: Sage and Light Jade
                  • Section 5: Jade
                  • Section 6: Jade and Rue
                  • Section 7: Rue

                  Seven-stage gradients work with any color combination, and because they're infinitely adaptable, they hold universal appeal. As a bonus, adding a fifth color makes it easy to expand this seven-stage gradient into a nine-stage version.

                  Uncertain where to start? Try creating a neutral ombre using four shades of grey ranging from deep charcoal to light silver, or four earthy tones ranging from dark brown to light sand. Or try a vivid scheme using saturated shades of fuchsia, purple, turquoise and lime.

                  Small, quick projects like these mitts, which feature leftovers generated by a steady stream of projects worked in shades of greenare an effective way to transform remnants and random skeins into something fun and functional. I'm off to tackle more examples for the next round of ombre and gradient how-to posts, and hopefully make some headway on the way-too-many WIPs on the needles.

                  Meanwhile, I hope you'll choose four colors that speak to you, cast on something simple and experiment with the rich possibilities of seven-stage gradients. And if you do, be sure to come back and tell us about it.



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                  May 21, 2017

                  Risky Business

                  Because I'm still enamored with the vivid colors and clean lines of the not-so-scrappy rainbow afghan, I decided to cast on another.




                  As luck would have it (ahem), there are enough Cotton Fleece partials and leftovers to make a second one, featuring a slightly different mix of rainbow banners set against a creamy background. The first strip is finished (and the second is underway):




                  So far, so good, right? 

                  Sure, except another colorful design has been loudly clamoring to get out of my head and onto the needles. From experience, we all know working multiple large projects at the same time can be a risky business, especially if like me you're a slow knitter with limited knitting time.

                  Of course the mature, disciplined approach would be to ban new cast ons, focus on what's already on the needles and finish ... which is precisely what I kept muttering under my breath as I started this new number:




                  It doesn't look like much yet, but there are a few interesting developments on the horizon, so I'm eager to see how this concept shapes up. 

                  What distractions are finding their way onto your needles?


                  For those of you who've inquired, the pattern for the not-so-scrappy rainbow afghan is in the tech editor's hands.

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                  May 17, 2017

                  How to Create a 6-Stage Gradient

                  It's time to tackle the joys of six-color gradients, next in our ongoing series on ombres and gradients.

                  There are, of course, countless ways to create such a gradient, but this one happens to require only three colors, so it's easy and highly adaptable. Let's look at the particulars.

                  6. Six-stage gradientColsie Mitts Plumberry

                  Yarn. Richesse et Soie (Knit1 Crochet 2)

                  Stitch. The fast, easy slipped rib stitch is stretchy, reversible and does a respectable job blending colors.


                  Strategy.  Solid colors are separated by transitional sections consisting of two-row stripes. To achieve a
                   similar look:
                  • Choose three colors and arrange them dark to light.
                  • Work section 1 with CC1.
                  • Work section 2 with CC1 and CC2.
                  • Work section 3 with CC2 only.
                  • Work section 4 with CC2 and CC3.
                  • Work section 5 with CC3 only.
                  • Work section 6 with CC3 and CC1.

                  In this instance, the colors were worked as follows:
                  • Section 1: Jet
                  • Section 2: Jet and Plum
                  • Section 3: Plum
                  • Section 4: Plum and Cranberry
                  • Section 5: Cranberry
                  • Section 6: Cranberry and Jet

                  I paired rich gemtones with black, but you could use any color combination that appeals to you. Try red, yellow and blue to create a fun rainbow effect, or select three colors in the same color family for a graduated ombre. As an added plus, you could quickly turn this into a seven-stage gradient by working a final section in whatever color you designate as CC1.

                  While I continue to work up samples for upcoming posts, why don't you spend some quality time at your LYS or with your stash. Choose three colors you love and make something fabulous featuring your own custom six-stage gradient

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