I’ve had a major bout of spinning over the past couple of months, but there’s been a little knitting as well. During the vacation, I managed to finish the cowl and I started the next airplane knitting—and that’s the thing which is on the needles at the moment. (I’m the slowest knitter on the planet, remember?)
But, I may have found a new obsession: gradients.
Gradients are funny things. There are two kinds: monochromatic/ombre, and multi-color. The ombre gradients are shifts within one color moving from dark to light (or the other way around, depending on your perspective), and multi-color gradients shift between colors, such as red–>purple–>blue. And yes, I do think of multi-color gradients—yarns where one color melts into the next color—as gradients. I reject the notion that the only gradient is a monochromatic one. The muli-color versions will stripe unless the shifts are very subtle. But ombre or multi, they can both be amazing.
Last year, I span a gradient-type of yarn for the one and only fiber club I’ve kept (Enchanted Knoll Farm). It was a 50/50 Merino/Silk in small batches of colors, and ended up as a chain-plied heavy lace. This one:
I’ve kept that yarn handy in the stash, my fingers itching to put it onto the needles, but I really liked that yarn and wanted to reserve it for something special, and I wanted something which would work with the stripe effect of the gradient. I didn’t want a triangle since I don’t like triangles with stripes. I wanted a rectangular stole. But because of the stripes, it needed to be something which was knit on the long edge rather than from one short end to the other short end. I wanted the stripes to go across the fabric rather than up and down.
By George, I think I’ve found it. I’m about halfway through the Earth Maiden shawl, and I’m seriously hooked. I’ve been fascinated by gradients since that yarn, but I’m loving the way this is working out in a pattern which accepts the striping. And see, I normally don’t like stripes! I’d fretted that I hadn’t made the color shifts between each of the colors gradual enough, but aside from one color change at the outer edge, I think the shifts are going to be pretty subtle.
But see, now I’m mildly obsessed. I’m absolutely fascinated by how the colors are rippling through the fabric, and I can’t wait to see the next ripple’s arrival. The next couple of weeks are busy, but I’m seriously itching to dig out dyes and the carder and see what I can make.
Now I just need to find a duplicate me because, of course, if I make those gradients, and then spin those yarns, I will simply have to knit them all. And then I’d jolly well better find people to whom I can gift them, or else half my wardrobe (which is already rather limited) will look like a rainbow of gradients.
On the other hand, I suppose there could be worse things . . .