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06/21/2012 / thriftomancer

Gradated scarf complete + mini-tutorial

The last 1/4 didn’t take long at all! The scarf’s done and ready to wear. When it’s cold again, of course.

Here it is in all its shifty glory!

Gradated scarf!

I had to take the photo in full sun so the colors would show true enough that the color changes could be differentiated. The pattern is much subtler under normal light conditions both indoor and out.

If you’re interested in stats, this scarf is 9′ long and made out of repurposed 100% cotton yarn.

Since it’s been a while since I gave a tutorial, I figured I might as well release the pattern for this project, in as much as there is one. (It’s very simple.)

First, the color change in this scarf is achieved by knitting with multiple strands of yarn and strategically swapping them about. It’s not tough once you get used to it. What you need to remember, however, is that this means you’ll need at least 3 times the amount of yarn you’d normally need and that you should use thin yarns to avoid making your working strand super-ultra-chunky in the extreme. (A bread pan is also useful for containing the 3 working balls of yarn.)

This might be the perfect opportunity to use some fancy/luxury fiber yarn that you’d never work with otherwise.

Next, pick your colors. This pattern calls for 4 solid bands of color so that’s 4 different ones, or 2 doubled up like I did, or 3 and improvise. Or just use one color and totally miss the entire point of the exercise. Either way, select your hues and wind 3 balls of each. I’m going to be calling the colors A, B, C, and you guessed it, D.

Keep in mind that you’ll need slightly more yarn in the middle 2 colors (B, C) because they need to fade both in and out while the end colors only transition once.

Now, cast on. Honestly, the particular stitch pattern or number of stitches you want to use is completely unimportant because this technique deals with color, not texture. For my scarf I used this stitch/pattern with 51 cast-ons.

What does matter is that when you cast on, you start using 3 strands of your A color yarn.

Knit 12″ with those 3 strands so you have a nice, solid band of A.

Pick one of the strands (it doesn’t matter which at this point since they’re all A) and cut it. Be sure to leave enough length to tie a good knot. Take a strand of your B color and tie it to the severed A strand. Knit on.

You should now be working with 2 strands of A and 1 of B. Keep at this until you get another 10″ of length.

Grab another strand of A, cut and knot it as before. You’ve now got 1 A strand and 2 B.

Knit another 10″, then replace the final strand of A with a B strand.

At this point you’ve got the makings of a solid band of color once again and the pattern repeats. Knit another 12″, then begin replacing the B strands with strands of your C color.

Once you’ve moved from B into C and C into D, the pattern changes slightly. Since D has no following color or fade out, you just stop after knitting 12″ of solid D color. Bind it off and you’re done!

And as I mentioned earlier, this technique/thing here is really just a way of working with color, substituting multiple strands for a variegated yarn. You can use it on anything and alter/tinker/mess with it as much as you wish. In fact, I’d quite like it if you did.

Good luck, have fun, and if anyone does make one of these, please drop a link to show it off!

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