Gradients Part 1: EYF Gradient Sets

Over the last few months I’ve become rather obsessed with gradients. I’ve been putting a collection together and it’s really inspiring me for the EYF class I’ll be teaching in March. When people talk about gradients they can mean several different things; sometimes it means a colour that graduated from light to dark within the same colour family  (also referred to as Ombre) or alternatively  it may be a gradient that graduates from one colour to another. The terms are often used interchangeably.

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Colour graduating from light to dark within the same colour family. (Shades of Turquoise from The Knitting Goddess)

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Colours moving from yellow, through orange and rust into a dark brown. (Autumn Harvest from Fiber Optic Yarns)

There are many different way to create gradients. Here I’ve outlined a few that I’ve come across with photo examples of each. Knitting with gradients is so much fun, you can’t wait to see how the next colour looks knitted up!

1. Mini-skein gradients

This is very much as it sounds, a larger skein is broken down into several mini-skeins (could be any number but 5 seems to be fairly common).

IMG_0034Here is an example of a single colour gradient going from light to dark green (Shaded Olives from The Knitting Goddess). This set has 5 different colours.

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This graduated set moves from a deep pink to a pale pastel pink (Party of 5, Sweet Georgia, Hanami).

IMG_0012This is an example of a mini-skein set that had related colours graduating from dark to light and then to dark again in a different colour (Dragonfly Fibers sock gradient set, Winter Woods).

2. Single skein gradients

This is a single skein of yarn that has been dyed so that it gradually moves from one colour to another. This can be one single colour graduation over the entire skein or it can be shorter colour gradients so that it goes through a few colour changes (this is a pretty close sister to some of the more subtle self-striping yarns).

IMG_0020These yarns are an example of a single skein gradient that moves from one colour to another across a single skein (Knitcircus Greatest of Ease ‘Gnarly Dude’ and Lavish ‘Brass and Steam’).

IMG_0022Here again we have a single skein gradient but it moves from a very pale/white to a deep pink in the single skein (Freia fine handpaints Ombre Grande ‘Valentine’)

IMG_0033This is a single skein of yarn that graduates through a range of colours in a gently graduated set of stripes that repeats (Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn)

3. DIY gradients

There is nothing stopping you from creating your own gradients. If you’ve got an extensive yarn collection gather similar weight yarns together and see if you can create a pleasing gradient with what’s in your stash. Any yarn supplier that has a wide range of colours is perfect for creating gradients. Look for a yarn supplier that would typically supply yarn for complex colourwork and you should easily be able to create your own gradient with their yarn.

IMG_0026Here is a range of Navia Duo colours that are close enough to each other that they can be combined to create a gradient.

EYF Students

If you’re taking the ‘Painting with Rainbows’ class with me at EYF you’ll want to bring a selection of gradient colours with you. You can either come with a pre-purchased pack or alternatively you can make your own. I’ve been digging through the EYF vendors to see who has some gradient yarn in their shops and this is what I’ve come up with, so you can either stock up before the class or grab some in the marketplace afterward to practice your new skills!

Mini-Skein Gradients:

La Bien Aimée
Easy Knits
Fyberspates
The Knitting Goddess
Purlescence
The Little Grey Sheep
Rainbow Heirloom
Ripple Crafts
Snail Yarn
Skein Queen
Eden Cottage Yarns

Single skein gradient:

Bilium
Namolio
The Wool Kitchen

Wide Colour ranges for DIY gradient sets:

New Lanark
The Skye Shilasdair
Jamiesons

New Year Sale!

Well everyone I’ve had a rather eventful start to the year. My lovely little puppy was neutered this week but reacted badly to the medication so we had 3 days of 24 hour nursing. Fortunately she’s made a full recovery and is in great shape now!

Over the last 10 days not one but both of our cars have ended up in the garage with my husband driving a rental, while I’m begging and borrowing my mothers car for school pick-ups. Both repairs are very expensive so I thought it would be the perfect time for a January sale!

january sale

From now (16th January) until midnight on the 21st (GMT) you can get 40% off all my self-published patterns and e-books. You can find all of them here on my website or on the ravelry page. Just use code FIXMYCAR (put pattern in cart, click ‘use coupon code’ and put the code in).

You can use this great sale to pick up the newly self-published Cannan Hood (previously a club pattern for The Woolen Rabbit).

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Thank you all so much for your ongoing support, I appreciate it so very much!
Feel free to share the coupon code with family and friends.

Final Destash

Most of the destash went yesterday, there are some of the cotton and linen blends left.

I’m going to break them down into the individual yarns with suggested prices. Postage costs (shown below) will be added again.

1. Spud & Chloe Sweater, 1 full, 1 partial, 161g: €3 reserved

IMG_40492. Drops Safran x 2, 100g: €2

IMG_40893. Drops Paris and collection of partial Cotton Classic, 270g: €2

IMG_40904. Blue Sky Alpaca skinny cotton, 1 full & 1 partial, 116g: €3

IMG_40935. Rowna Handknit cotton x 2, 100g: €3 reserved

IMG_40956. Tedman & Kvist Colina 1 full & 2 partial, 205g: €3

IMG_40437. Southwick, 1 full, 1 partial, 91g: €2 reserved

IMG_40508. Drops Ice x 1, 50g: €1

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Postage rates:

Postage for Ireland:

500g €4.50

1kg €7.00

1.5 or 2kg €8.25

Europe:

500g €5.90

1kg €8.40

1.5 or 2kg €11.65

World:

500g €5.90

1kg €11.65

1.5 or 2kg €17.90

 

Destash – part 2!

Here is the last of my destash – some is is free for postage and some (with complete skeins) have a suggested value, with postage to be added. I’ve put postage rates at the bottom of the page.

I’ll try to keep track of offers – but there’s coming in from a few different directions! If a yarn pack is going to you I’ll contact you to confirm by email and will send you on a paypal invoice. Today is New Year’s Day so I’ll be in and out all day!

I’d prefer to sell the shown bundles together but if after today there isn’t any offers on the complete bundle I’ll break it up tomorrow. Please leave your offer in the comments here so I can track more easily! If you want something individually put it in the comments and they will be ordered on a first come first served basis from the comments.

1. Wool and wool blends 1100g: €25 plus shipping for total. CLAIMED

Yarn’s pictured are cone of Donegal aran tweed, Araucania nature wool, cushendale wool and mohair, drops Neapal x2, mystery orange (may be Quince & co), classic elite lush x2, Jamiesons dk, jamieson & smith soft spun, Portuguese wool, rowan felted tweed.

IMG_40762. Cascade Eco+ 250g : €5 plus shipping CLAIMED

20151230_152223-1_resized3. Cotton/Linen and blends 1424g: €40 plus shipping SIERRA ONLY CLAIMED

Included is 1 full 2 partial Tedman & Kvist Colina, 1 full 2 partial spud & chloe sweater, 2 drops saffran, drops ice, drops paris, collection of partial charles stacy cotton classic, 3 cascade sierra, 1 full 1 partial blue skys alpaca skinny dyed cotton, 2 rowan handknit cotton, 2 valley yarns southwick.

IMG_40804. Alpaca yarns from Peru 532g: Free for postage costs CLAIMED

8 alpaca dk (4 full 4 partial), 2 skeins fingering alpaca/acrylic blend.

IMG_40875. Lace weight yarns, 294 g: Free for shipping CLAIMED

Malabrigo, Knitpicks, mystery lace (silk?), Rowan kidsilk.

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Postage rates:

Postage for Ireland:

500g €4.50

1kg €7.00

1.5 or 2kg €8.25

Europe:

500g €5.90

1kg €8.40

1.5 or 2kg €11.65

World:

500g €5.90

1kg €11.65

1.5 or 2kg €17.90

 

New yarn – make your wish!

 

THESE YARNS ARE ALL CLAIMED NOW – MORE YARN WILL BE POSTED HERE TOMORROW.

Thanks and Happy New Year to you all!

To start with I’ve tried dividing the partial skeins of yarn into colour groups.

These partial skeins are all free collection or postage costs.

I’ve put the weights down so you can see how much it would be (see here)….tomorrow I’ll have some complete skeins up with a nominal cost.

Postage for Ireland:

500g €4.50

1kg €7.00

1.5 or 2kg €8.25

Europe:

500g €5.90

1kg €8.40

1.5 or 2kg €11.65

World:

500g €5.90

1kg €11.65

1.5 or 2kg €17.90

First up is the pinks/purples 757g: (Purple only for Wyvernfriend)

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Blues (with a few dark purple): 616g – reserved for wyvernfriend

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Brown/Mustards 1050g: – reserved for wyvernfriend

IMG_4027Greens 616g in total: – reserved for Tracie

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Peach/Orange 700g:

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Neutral & Greys 478g: – reserved for Gillian

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New year sort out

I don’t like sorting and organising myself any better than most people but the time has come to grab the bull by the horns. My office has been accumulating yarn, samples and paper since I started designing and I’m about to be buried under the mountain. I didn’t realise quite how bad I was as keep stuff ‘just in case’. It would appear that I’ve got the yarn remains of EVERY item I’ve designed since I began.

I’ve started by pulling the boxes of yarn into the hall and while I’m doing that my husband is in the office clearing rubbish and reorganising the furniture. It’s a big space but very badly used with several corners that are effectively inaccessible by me due to the furniture placement.

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This is the selection of partially used skeins, some with ball bands but a lot without. I think tomorrow I’ll divide this into colour blocks and willing parties can request what they want!

20151230_160023-1_resizedEspecially as a designer it is so hard to get rid of yarn. What if inspiration hits and you need THAT yarn? Although as I’m discovering, in reality if a yarn has been buried in your stash for a couple of years it is pretty unlikely you’ll dig it out to use.

So I’ve been posting to twitter with the yarn that’s coming out of my stash. Here is some of it; if something interested you just leave a comment and make an offer :-)

First is a huge 250g skein of Cascade Eco + that I use to make Vivido.

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3 skeins of lovely Cascade Sierra:

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2 packs of alpaca yarn direct from Peru; 2 skeins are a fingering weight alpaca/acrylic blend and the other 8 skeins (4 complete and 4 partial) are 100% alpaca in a dk weight.

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Schoppel Leinen Los 70% wool 30% linen which has a full skein of each colour and a partial skein of each.
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A collection of sock yarn; Regina, Mirasol and Wendy Happy.
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And finally…definitely not for sale, the super sweet Lizzie decided that she needed to help out as well :-)
20151230_162822-1_resizedThis renovation of my office is very necessary – I’ve got lots of big new plans and they’re not going to happen in a cluttered space!

Help me pick!

Somehow my 200th pattern just sneaked up on me – I guess that’s what happens when life gets busy!
I’ve got 2 patterns finished and ready for layout but I just can’t decide which to do first.

If you can help me decide which comes first I’ll publish on Christmas Eve and give the first 200 copies away for free (with code).

I’ve put the vote up on ravelry here, go tell me which you want to see as my 200th pattern.

They’re both children’s pattern, one is a pink Anzula girl’s tunic and the second is a red Dragonfly boys sweater. Actually the sweater would perfect as a unisex one as well. The sweater photos need to be redone, I attempted to do them myself as hubbie the photographer is away. But the lack of light and difficulty photographing red didn’t make for the best photo shoot!

First up Pink Anzula:

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Here’s the next one, Dragonfly Fibers Sweater:

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10 years of Woolly Wormhead!

I can’t quite believe that Woolly has been publishing for 10 years; that’s a very impressive time span!
I’ve got huge respect for Woolly on multiple levels; both as a friend and as a designer. We first met many years ago in Sterling, Scotland. We were teaching at an event for a week and as it was a rather depressing affair we cheered ourselves up nightly :-) It did mean that we cemented our friendship very firmly.
As a friend Woolly is upfront and generous. She always has time to help and support. When I’ve got personal or business issues I need to work out she’s one of the first places I’ll look for advice.
As a designer Woolly is very unique and focused. She only designs hat. At first I wondered why that was but after knowing her for a while and talking about it this makes sense. They’re not hats, they’re sculptures for the head. She has trained in several areas (engineering, sculpture and teaching) but creatively sculpture is where her focus is. Each hat is a well engineered sculpture.
The teaching side comes through very clearly in the pattern writing as well. All patterns (where necessary) are both written and charted. In addition to this any unusual technique has got a full tutorial in the pattern; again with both written and illustrated directions.
To celebrate Woolly’s design talents it made sense to me that I’d knit through one of her patterns. We both share a love of side-to-side hats so I opted to knit Marina.

Copyright Woolly Wormhead

Ideally a striped yarn would have been great but I used what I had to hand (Navia Traditional). This hat uses the stitch pattern and short rows to full advantage. The dropped stitch pattern opens out and creates a fuller hat but the garter stitch edging keeps the brim snug.

Each wedge of the hat is knit with short rows at the crown for shaping and is repeated all the way around to get the size you need.

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At the very end the provisional cast-on is undone and the stitches are grafted together for a seamless hat. The tutorials on the pattern for both these techniques are just perfect and easy to understand.
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Of course also being a knitwear designer I had to do my own little tweaking :-) Instead of doing wrap & turn short rows for the crown I added German Short rows and I put a slip stitch edging on the first stitch of the brim. Quite frankly though that was pretty much the only tweaking I wanted to do!

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And the final hat happily blocking on it’s balloon form.

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So what Woolly Wormhead pattern are you going to knit next?

Thank you Woolly for being you :-)

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

When I was in school I learned this poem and out of all the poems, novels and plays I studied this one has stuck with me. There are so many times in life where you are presented with options and want to do both. You stand at a crossroads and must choose. This also happens with design work; every step along the way is a decision. Each choice is not necessarily good or bad – just different.
When I spent a year in art college we ended the year with a project. We picked a topic and then spend the next several months examining it from different angles. There were charcoal drawings, pastel drawings, long lost sculptures and paper texture work. I’ve recently rediscover a lot of this in my parents attic and it’s made me a little nostalgic! (And yes, my project was on a prawn…it smelled really, really dreadful after several months even with freezes between uses.)

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Over the coming months I’m starting a new project. I’m gradually piecing together in my head how I want it to work. It will be an exploration of colour combinations and gradients. I want to do more than a single design, it feels like this is a project that needs to take as many forks on the road as possible. There will be swatches, tutorials, patterns and project options. I think an e-book released over a series of weeks or months a chapter at a time that travels on the exploration journey with me would be the most useful for knitters.

Anyone want to join me on this journey?