My name is Birgit Wyss and I have been handcrafting for over 45 years. I made more of this versatile passion in 2016 and founded my online shop and the brand Chiemseegarn . Since 2016 we have been producing gradient yarns made of polyacrylic and cotton. While working with gradient yarn is especially fun, it does take some care when planning new pieces. Therefore I would like to answer the question in this blog post:
What makes a good gradient yarn pattern ?
Good instructions for gradient yarns take into account that the gradient changes depending on the dimensions of the knitted or crocheted piece. The individual work steps should be explained in detail. The user of the instructions should be able to feel correctly guided by the hand.
In the following, we will explain what the special features of working with gradient yarns are and what good instructions for these yarns should look like. With our tools you can even create good instructions yourself and, for example, use the dimensions of your favorite sweater for a new work. Incidentally, we are very happy when our customers send us their own great instructions with pictures of their works!
There are eight points that should be a very good guide. In the case of difficult patterns, knitting or crochet fonts should also be included. All terms should be briefly explained in a beginner-friendly way.
- Specification of the material and the required amount
- Specification of all accessories such as the size of the needles, aids such as row counter
- Specification of the exact dimensions of the knitting or crocheting
- Specification of a stitch sample
- Degree of difficulty
- Specification of the model's measurements or dress size (for sweaters and dresses)
- Glossary of the technical terms used such as 1 M r = knit 1 stitch
- Explain the work steps exactly
In addition to specifying the key data of the pattern, it helps immensely if the knitters and crocheters are not left alone with their work. Good instructions point out difficult spots and prepare for them. Small tips for beginners can always be included. It is also good if the instructions do not look like a mathematical construct, but rather the user can visualize through the description at which point on the sweater, for example, they are currently located.
There are instructions in which the patterns are stubbornly explained, even if they are repeated over and over again. It is really easier here if a knitting or crochet chart is attached, which you can use to easily orientate yourself visually while working. These fonts can also be easily copied on squared paper and so you can take your pattern with you wherever you want to crochet or knit.
Important information on working with gradient yarns
Why do I even explicitly address the question: "What does a good instruction for gradient yarn look like?" Quite simply: with a gradient yarn you can't work on it in a fun way like with other yarns. It is also not possible to use any manual for a handicraft, because the color gradient varies depending on the width or length of the handicraft: A very narrow scarf then has wide colored stripes, a wide scarf or a triangular shawl has narrow colored stripes.
It quickly happens that not all the colors of the yarn appear or the colors are repeated more often than you want them to be. That would be a shame!
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A sweater with gradient yarn can be knitted or crocheted with absolutely identical color gradients in the front and back - at the latest, however, there are difficulties with the sleeves, as they start narrow at the bottom and become wide at the top.
Vests made of gradient yarns are therefore an uncomplicated and beautiful idea! But of course all kinds of sweaters and jackets can be knitted from the yarn, if you take into account the special features of working with gradient yarns and have optimal instructions or create some yourself!
Please always work out exactly how the individual pieces, especially the sleeves, have to be made: Or just take our instructions right away and follow them exactly!
Instructions do not apply to all gradient yarns
The instructions must always match the respective model of gradient yarn exactly. Unfortunately, you cannot use any instructions for working with gradient yarn for your newly acquired yarn. If you use a different brand of yarn, you will get a completely different result! This can of course also be nice, but then there is no uniform image of the sleeves and the front and back of sweaters, for example.
Likewise, the yarns should be exactly the same thickness as in the instructions and the needle size should be the same. But even then, the desired color gradient is not likely to result, as the different yarns have different lengths of color.
Gradient yarns are a special attraction for handicrafts and are a great pleasure, especially for beginners! A real firework of colors is created when knitting, there are spectacular effects without changing the yarn.
Discovering the ever new play of colors means having fun with every new stitch and row. It is all the more important that handicraft enthusiasts can rely on precise instructions.
In general, gradient yarns are most likely to be used for triangular pieces, scarves, loops, hats and ponchos. Because, on the one hand, these pieces particularly emphasize the color gradient. But also because they make up a complete whole. With sweaters and jackets, as I said, it is more difficult to create the same color gradient on all parts.
Which patterns are suitable for gradient yarns?
There are many different patterns that highlight gradient yarns in a particularly beautiful way. All holey patterns are very popular. Plastic patterns are also very beautiful, but they are used sparingly or combined with smooth patterns. Relief sticks for crocheting, openwork patterns for knitting are the first choice. Different, rather simple patterns can alternate in one piece and increase the appeal of work and the end result. But in general you tend to use calm patterns or repetitive rhombuses.
Which pieces are most beautiful to work with with gradient yarns?
Shawls, scarves, ponchos:
All knitting and crocheting pieces made from gradient yarn are beautiful. But in general, people like to work shawls, shawls, loops or ponchos out of them. There are mutliple reasons for this.
You don't have to pay much attention to the color gradient when working on these pieces, because they are symmetrical in their dimensions. As for a shawl, you can just work until the thread runs out. If the shawl is still too small, you can easily take the last color from a new bobble (that's the name of the balls of wool in gradient yarns) and knit it on.
In general, it is simply quite complicated if you do not have precise instructions in front of you to use the gradient yarn in such a way that the play of colors comes into its own
Even with a simple rectangular cloth, you have to calculate exactly how long the cloth will be with the desired width and whether the color gradient is still pleasing. If you don't like it, you can make the shawl wider or narrower. But this is only for knitters and crocheters who are quite experienced and enjoy experimenting.
Sweaters, jackets, dresses:
This is where things get very complicated if you don't have good instructions! Unfortunately, like with "normal" yarns, it is not possible to order one or two more balls of yarn if the dimensions of the sweater are not correct or if everything has to be adjusted while working. With gradient yarn it is crucial that the size, cut and pattern are adapted to the respective yarn.
Working a sweater with the gradient yarns in the classic way is not possible because the front part only has exactly the same color gradient as the back part if the cuts are exactly the same. But mostly the front part is cut differently. It has a larger neckline, maybe a collar.
But the sleeves make it really complicated because, as already mentioned, they widen towards the top.
The question: "How much gradient yarn do you need for a sweater?" must always be answered depending on the size and pattern.
A perfect cut for a sweater made of gradient yarn is therefore the raglan from above.
So you start with the neckline and work your shoulders in right away.
You can find such a cut in our instructions for the sweater The Frozen .
Plus points when working with gradient yarns
- You hardly have to work with sewing the threads, because the thread runs through in one. Only at the end do the individual parts of the piece need to be sewn together.
- No pattern is required! Gradient yarns also look great when knitted very smoothly or in simple uniform patterns.
- The yarns are knotted and these knots are so small that you can knit or crochet over them without any problems. Simply ideal for beginners!
If you use our instructions and follow the instructions exactly, you will achieve optimal results and make your gradient yarn really shine.
Have fun with our instructions!