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06/17/2012 / thriftomancer

A gradated scarf

It occurs to me, now that I’m nigh on 3/4 done with the thing, that mayhap I should have mentioned my new knitting project. I started it while in the middle of actually quilting the postage stamp quilt and taking breaks from quilting to work on it are, I think, what saved my hand during this last round of stitchery.

What it is is an attempt to use some of the yarn I salvaged unraveling all those sweaters to experiment with gradated colorwork.

My last attempt at repurposing sweater yarn turned out very delicate and mesh-like because the yarn itself was/is so thin. Using only a single strand didn’t give the kind of bulk one would need in something that’s actually warm. This time I addressed that issue by knitting with 3 strands of the thin yarn at once. Combined, the strands ended up being about equal to a 5 weight yarn.

The multiple strands also allowed me to do some fun things with color, like mimicking the appearance of a variegated yarn by slowly swapping out the threads I was working with for ones of other colors.

My original design was for a scarf that would start as solid black then fade to navy, light blue, and finally gray in a smooth spectrum. Since I was working with 3 discrete yarns at once, I could change from having all 3 the same color, black for example, to knitting with 2 black and 1 of the next color. Navy in this case. From there I’d switch to 2 navy and 1 black, then all 3 strands navy blue to complete the change. Doing this in semi-regular intervals allowed me to make smooth, fairly subtle transitions in color just like I hoped.

A problem occurred, however, when it came time to transition from navy to light blue. I had thought the change in color would go as smoothly as it has from black to navy, but I was wrong. My light blue was too light so the change looked too abrupt. Choppy and generally glaring. Certainly not worth the time and effort it would take to knit.

So, instead of continuing with my black to gray spectrum idea, I decided to save the light blue and gray for a later project and keep this scarf black and navy. I’d still have four bands of color with transitions between, but now it would be an A-B-A-B pattern between the two colors instead of an A to D arrangement.

Gradated scarf WIP

Right now I’ve just swapped in the first navy thread to start the transition to the final stripe of navy. Just another 32″ left to knit before this scarf is done.



Leave a Comment
  1. Ria / Jun 17 2012 9:44 pm

    I love the subtle colour changes in this scarf. I rarely knit with multiple yarns combined, but seeing this makes me want to do a similar style scarf!

    • thriftomancer / Jun 18 2012 10:30 pm

      Go for it! It was actually really fun. I was thinking about including a rough pattern for it in my next post. Think I should/it would be useful?

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