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Superior Gradient Yarn since 2012. Hand-dyed and exclusively milled yarns. Based in Portland, Oregon. Free shipping on US orders over $100.

03 Oct '14

Finished Cladonia

If you follow Black Trillium Fibres on Instagram, you might have noticed my random-looking pictures of a gradient with two full-sized skeins of Pebble Sock.  I was hoping for input on color choices without telling anyone what I was knitting.  Overwhelmingly, including the designer of my still-secret pattern choice, those who shared chose the above combination: Sheaf Gradient and Beach Glass.  When Kirsten Kapur tells you she likes a particular color choice, I say go with her gut instinct.

Incidental Tangent: have you seen Kirsten's post about marking your territory with yarn?  In this case, territory means electronic device charger, but I think analogy fits.  I'm going to do this with *all the things*.  Also, I realize this post starts much the same as the one linked to on the TTL blog, but I swear it was totally unconscious.  I read my RSS feed early in the morning as I'm waking up, so the post must have stuck in my head somewhere.

My intent with this project was to begin compiling patterns designed with 2 - 100 gram skeins of yarn that would also accommodate one gradient and one 100g skein. Easy, peasy.  Knit the pattern, have a sample for a my next show, share my notes and generate some fire for established patterns with creative use of gradients.  I started in a good place, with a very suitable pattern candidate.  However, I over-estimated my own ingenuity.

I thought that since I had much more yarn than the original sample knit by the designer required, I would be able to make at least the larger version other knitters had extended their own yarns to create.  Knowing my number of stitches would eat exponentially more yarn as the shawl increased in size, I staggered the number of repeats per gradient shade evenly downward.

As I moved from one shade to another, I saw that my numbers were getting me a lot of leftover yarn.  I reached my last intended repeat before the lace section and found that I hadn't really increased the number of stitches over the way the pattern is written.  A standard-sized Cladonia is thing of beauty and a nice, quick knit.  But a yarn-eater it is not.  Here are my repeat numbers, in case you want to make one of your own:

Shade 1: 10 stripes, including setting up

Shade 2: 8 stripes

Shade 3: 6 stripes

Shade 4: 4 stripes

Shade 5: 2 stripes, plus binding off.

I think I could have gotten away with 1 more stripe per color, but it might have cut very close with the 100g skein main color.  I want to keep going with my sample projects, so I'm still looking for other pattern ideas.  Things I'm watching for:

Lace sections - these need to be continuous of one shade of a gradient or they need to be knit with the 100g skein color.

Striping - gradients are excellent in this situation, whether garter or stockinette.

Yardage - things like Aranami are out-of-bounds because their yardage requirements are too high for certain shades, but generally assymetrical shawls are okay as long as the number of rows knit per color looks good if it decreases as the stitch count increases.  Items like socks and mitts are fun, too, but don't use a whole lot of yarn.  I may have to give up on my sticking point about using too little of a gradient, though, because I'm discovering there is a whole world yet to be looked at with colorwork using gradient leftovers.

Other crafts - crochet is getting to be cool.  Am I wrong?

I'm going to leave you with this up-close shot of the lace section at the end, because it is utterly fun:


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