My name is Birgit Wyss and I have been crafting 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 requires 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?
A good guide to gradient yarns takes 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 that they are being guided properly.
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. By the way, we are very happy when our customers send us their own great instructions with pictures of their works!
There are eight items that should be very good guidance. In the case of difficult patterns, knitting charts or crochet charts should also be included. All terms should be briefly explained in a beginner-friendly manner.
- Indication of the material and the required quantity
- Indication of all accessories such as the size of the needles, aids such as row counters
- Specification of the exact dimensions of the knitting or crochet
- Specification of a gauge
- Specification of the model's measurements or dress size (for sweaters and dresses)
- Glossary of the technical terms used such as knit 1 stitch = 1 stitch on the right
- Explain work steps in detail
In addition to giving the key data of the instructions, it helps immensely if the knitters and crocheters are not left alone with their work. Good instructions point out difficult areas 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 the user can use the description to visualize where on the pullover they are, for example.
There are instructions in which the patterns are stubbornly explained, even if they are repeated over and over again. Here it is really easier if a knitting or crocheting chart is attached, which you can easily use to orientate yourself visually while working. These writings 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 notes for working with gradient yarns
Why am I explicitly answering the question: "What does a good guide for gradient yarns look like?" Quite simply: With a gradient yarn you can't start working on it in a fun way like with other yarns. It is also not possible to use just any manual for a handiwork, because the color gradient varies depending on the width or length of the handwork: A very narrow scarf then has wide colored stripes, a wide scarf or a triangular scarf has narrow colored stripes.
So it quickly happens that not all colors of the yarn appear or the colors repeat themselves more often than you want them to.That would be a shame!
A pullover with gradient yarn can be knitted or crocheted in the front and back with absolutely identical color gradients - but at the latest there are difficulties with the sleeves, as they start narrow at the bottom and get wider towards the top
Waistcoats made of gradient yarns are therefore an uncomplicated and beautiful idea! But of course all kinds of sweaters and jackets can also be knitted from the yarns if you take into account the special features of working with gradient yarns and have the best instructions or create some yourself!
Please always calculate exactly how the individual pieces, especially the sleeves, must be worked: Or simply take our instructions to hand and follow them exactly!
One instruction does not apply to all gradient yarns
The instructions must always match the respective model of gradient yarn exactly. Unfortunately, you cannot use just any instructions for working with gradient yarn for your newly purchased yarn. If you use a different brand of yarn, you will get a completely different result! Of course, that can also be nice, but then the sleeves and front and back of sweaters, for example, do not have a uniform image.
The yarns should also be exactly the same thickness as in the instructions and the needle size should be the same. But even then, the desired color gradient tends not to emerge, since the different yarns have color sections of different lengths.
Gradient yarns have a special attraction when it comes to handicrafts and are a great joy, especially for beginners! When knitting, a real firework of colors is created, there are spectacular effects without changing the yarn.
Discovering the ever new color games means having fun with every new stitch and row. It is all the more important that the handicraft enthusiasts can rely on exact instructions.
In general, you are most likely to work triangular pieces, scarves, loops, hats and ponchos out of gradient yarns. On the one hand, because these pieces particularly emphasize the color gradient. But also because they form a complete whole. As already mentioned, it becomes more difficult to create the same color gradient on all parts of sweaters and jackets.
What patterns are suitable for gradient yarns?
There are many patterns that highlight gradient yarns particularly well. All patterns with holes are very popular. Although plastic patterns are also very beautiful, they are used sparingly or combined with smooth patterns. Relief trebles when crocheting, openwork patterns when knitting are the first choice. Different, rather simple patterns can alternate in one piece and increase the appeal of the work and the end result. But in general, you tend to use calm patterns or repetitive diamonds.
What are the most beautiful pieces to work with gradient yarns?
shawls, scarves, ponchos:
All gradient yarn knits and crochet pieces are beautiful. But in general people like to make shawls, scarves, loops or ponchos out of it. 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 yarn runs out. If the shawl is still too small, you can easily take the last color from a new Bobbel (that's what the wool balls of gradient yarns are called) and knit on.
In general, it's quite complicated if you don't have precise instructions on how to use the gradient yarn in such a way that the play of colors comes into its own
Even with a simple rectangular shawl, you have to calculate exactly how long the shawl will be at the desired width and whether the color gradient is still pleasing. If you don't like it, you can make the cloth wider or narrower. But this is only for knitters and crocheters who are quite experienced and enjoy experimenting.
Sweaters, jackets, dresses:
This is where it gets very complicated if you don't have a good guide! Unfortunately, it is not possible to order one or two balls more than with "normal" yarns if the dimensions of the sweater are not correct or if you have to adjust everything while working. With gradient yarn it is crucial that the size, cut and pattern are adapted to the respective yarn.
It is not possible to work a pullover in the classic way with gradient yarns because the front part only has exactly the same color gradient as the back part if the cuts are exactly the same. Usually, however, 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 get wider towards the top.
The question: "How much gradient yarn do you need for a sweater"?, must therefore always be answered depending on the size and pattern.
The raglan from above is a perfect pattern for a sweater made of gradient yarn.
So you start with the neckline and work in the shoulders right away.
You can find such a pattern in our pattern for the sweater Frozen.
Plus points when working with gradient yarns
- You hardly have to do any work sewing the threads because the yarn runs through you. Only at the end do the individual parts of the piece have to be sewn together.
- It doesn't need patterns! Gradient yarns also look great knitted in plain stock or in simple, uniform patterns.
- The yarns are knotted and these knots are so small that you can easily knit or crochet over them. Simply ideal for beginners!
If you use our instructions and follow the instructions exactly, you will achieve optimal results and can really make your gradient yarn shine.
Have fun with our instructions!