Gradient Yarn: First Point of Libra
This shawl pattern by Laura Aylor (remember Lizard Ridge, yeah, that Laura Aylor) was a huge piece of exciting news around the studio when we found out it was going to happen. I was aware that Laura was working with our yarn, and I'm so pleased that she trusted me with a preview of the design and was able to share the basics of the pattern so I could have colors all dyed up and ready when the pattern went live. Called First Point of Libra, the shawl was initially released as a mystery KAL just as the weather was turning cool enough to work with wool here in the Pacific Northwest.
photo courtesy of Laura Aylor
Laura had a very specific vision of how the colors should play together. This shawl calls for one Gradient Yarn in Lilt Sock and two regular 100g skeins of Lilt Sock. Originally, we tried to talk about combinations that would play well together in a subtle way, giving the impression that the gradient and background color fade into one another at the shawl's bottom point. Lots of shades of gray and muted browns were discussed, if I remember. Things like Natural, Silverlight and Nautilus go extremely well with any number of gradient yarns, especially the lighter muted ones like Bitter, Fern, Flutter, Smoke and Vapor. You can see above how Bitter gradient yarn plays well with Natural.
I followed Laura's color concept on my first version of the shawl, finishing before the release of the first clue so I could start a second along with everyone else. Here I used Apricot gradient yarn and Natural 100g skeins.
Given my normal color proclivities which skew heavily toward insanely bright colors that I've been told you could see from space if so inclined, I knew I had to knit another version with my own color filter in the driver's seat. Here, you can see both:
For my second version, I used an Undine Gradient Yarn and Cherry Blossom Rain (often abbreviated to just CBR) 100g Lilt Sock. In both shawls, if you look up close you will see I was not a good little knitter monkey. Instead of following the 90 degree corners outlined in the pattern (log-cabin-style) I chose to pick up all the way around for the border and knit twin increases along the bottom point. I did this because I didn't want a huge skein left over in the Natural and CBR, I wanted to use just one skein of each. On CBR, I knit right up to the point where I knew I'd run out of yarn if I didn't bind off. It's clear I love mindless vanilla knitting with interesting color changes, though, because both of these were a breeze to finish.
For a sweet follow-up, Laura also designed a similarly-themed cowl meant to use up leftovers you would have had from buying a gradient and 800+ yards of Lilt Sock. It is appropriately called First Point of Libra Cowl, shown here in a Fern Gradient and Natural:
photo courtesy of Laura Aylor
There really are some wonderful versions of First Point of Libra, so many color combos it isn't possible to show them all. Here are some of my personal highlights (click on the photo to see creator's Ravelry project page):