Today, in our spinning gradient yarns series I wanted to start a series of sub-posts that look at designing ideas around progressive and true gradients.
I thought it might be nice to start this by looking at the humble hat; a basic stockinette beanie with a rib brim. Why a hat? Well not only are they quick to knit, but you can use very simple ply techniques to utilise your gradient fibres.
Before we go into this, please ignore my child-like colouring in... yes I did have full design training... strapped for time, I rather stupidly didn't perform today, lol!
Ok... So let's have a look at these two beanie hats..
One uses a progressive gradient idea, where you have a very distinct line between colours. This could be accomplished by creating your own faux gradient, or buying a progressive dyed braid of fibre. Navajo ply would be a great way to keep those colours separate, especially on a faux spin. Go back to Part 2 to refresh yourself on how to do this.
Why would I use a progressive gradient for a hat? Tipping, is my answer... 'Tipping' refers to a band of colour usually at the edge of a garment that acts as a trim without having to change stitch detail. On a hat you could design your yarn to knit the ribbing in one colour before you switch to the next colour in the gradient. This would take a bit of working out if you wanted a specific rib height, but you could always play with finishing your rib a bit earlier if the tipping colour changes to the full body colour sooner than you thought.
The other hat uses a true gradient. With this method you would get a good stretch of one colour merging into another. Look at Parts 3 and 5 to refresh yourself on faux and hand dyed versions... I recommend a standard two ply as the easiest method of ply choice.
Why would I use a true gradient for a hat? This is more of a styling choice, in that a gradient basic beanie could be much more interesting to knit than a plain one... it gives a bit of depth to a stockinette knit.
Why don't you have a go and post your versions in the Ravelry thread... it would be great to see what you come up with.
Also just to mention that I have plenty of gradients and colour sets in stock for you to buy at www.sarastexturecrafts.com
Part 8 is all about shawls!