Nov 19, 2017

Hover Craft

I've begun describing my growing pile of WIPs as hover craft, because frankly, they've hovered way too long in that twilight zone known as almost-but-not-quite-done.

Several were started in spring, but now Thanksgiving is just a few days away, winter and Christmas are right around the corner, and the end of the year is in sight. Just the prospect of this rapid march of events means I'm torn between the desire to cast on all the things, finish all the things, or tackle some combination of both.

One way or another, it's clearly time to come up with a plan.

Colsie Mitts
I kid you not, these supremely simple tone-on-tone mitts have been on the needles since March. Initially, I planned to do a three-stage gradient using two shades (lake and teal), but then I got distracted. First I added turquoise but the effect wasn't quite right, so I shifted to jade green. This worked a bit better, but in the end, I frogged the experiments and returned to my original plan. With both mitts now off the needles, I could have the ends woven and mitts seamed in one evening if I just buckled down, so that's my top priority.

Colsie Cowl

This project stalled while I indulged in a long bout of dithering. The original plan was to echo the colors and design in the mirror gradient mitts, but I found the subtle tone-on-tone look equally appealing, so I've been back and forth more times than I can count. I've decided to stick with the original plan, and now with that decision in place, I can quit fussing about colors and get on with the knitting.

Kintra Cowl
I'd hoped to have this ready to share today, but time was not on my side. The last section is nearly finished, so I just need to work a few buttonholes, bind off, weave ends and attach some buttons. With luck and a little attention, it might be ready to wear along with my Kintra mitts on Thanksgiving Day. (My goddaughters, who are learning to knit, love it when I wear hand knits.)

Herlacyn Afghan
This blanket has been patiently waiting for time and attention. It's soooo close to completion, all it needs is a border, a few ends woven and a good blocking, so it's close to the top of the list. Now, I just need to capture a block of time to finish the finishing, if you know what I mean.

Gradient Shawl-Wrap
Working this swatch helped me realize I need to move up one needle size and recalculate gauge before I cast on. The yarn is light, soft and warm, so the end result should be ideal as an extra layer when deep winter arrives. That means I'm eager to get this project underway, but am valiantly waiting until I knit another swatch and turn a few of the WIPs above into true FOs.

Yet Another Gradient Shawl-Wrap
In spring, I cast on and worked a few rows of this gradient shawl, but knitting time has been so scarce since, it's barely progressed past the skimpy start above. For now it's on hold, while I focus on other things.

In recent years, I've knit a ton of Christmas trees and holiday items, but this year may be a different story. I have something fun, fast and easy on the needles, but it's not a gift, so if it's finished in time for the holidays, great! If not, it just means I've gotten a head start on next year's holiday knitting, right? 

There may be a few more projects skulking around in the background, but for now, these hover craft projects are my top priorities. In a perfect world, all of them would either be finished, solidly underway or frogged before the end of the year, so I can start 2018 with a clean slate and fresh focus.

For now, anyway, that's my plan, but whether it works or not remains to be seen.

Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Nov 12, 2017

Roundup | 10 Ways to Create DIY Ombres, Gradients & Fades

In knit-world, ombres, gradients and fades continue to be a big color story, which is why we've spent much of the past year exploring numerous ways to create your own. 

The reasoning is simple. Fads come and go, but gradients remain one of the most versatile strategies you can use to maximize a prepackaged kit, leverage a few skeins of newly acquired yarn or transform stash skeins into something fresh and fabulous.

Whether they fade from light to dark or soft to bright, you can distinguish between ombres, gradients and fades based on the color strategy involved. Briefly, in my world:
Ombres feature a monochromatic approach using shades from a single color family.
Gradients typically incorporate multiple shades from two or more color families.
Fades may do either.
These guidelines are open to any interpretation that works for you, but in general, it takes at least two colors and three stages or shifts to achieve a gradient or ombre effect. Anything less, and you're essentially working some variation of stripes or color blocking. With this in mind, let's revisit 10 easy strategies for creating your own DIY gradient and ombre combinations.

(Click the titles below to see the original posts, each of which highlights five different strategies. Click a bullet item to see how-to directions for that technique.)

Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own

This post shares strategies for creating a:

Ombres & Gradients: 5 Fresh Ways to Create Your Own

This post shares strategies for working a:

As you can see, you can begin creating gradients with as few as two skeins, which makes these different approaches especially useful for stashbusting. By mixing and matching awkward orphans and singletons, it's both fun and easy to create combinations that are uniquely your own.

With more than 20 posts exploring different facets of ombres, gradients and fades, you'd think we would have exhausted this topic, but au contraire! From useful stitches and techniques to untapped color strategies, several new gradient posts are hovering on the horizon. 

Meanwhile, I hope these ideas will inspire you to experiment, because where ombres, gradients and fades are concerned the possibilities are truly endless.


To see all ombre and gradient posts, click here.
Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Nov 5, 2017

10 Terrific Fall Color Combos

Now that autumn has arrived and the leaves are turning, fall color combinations are on my mind. After a slow start, the trees are now ablaze with color and the ground is lightly coated so every footstep is accompanied by a satisfying rustle and crunch.

To mark this transition, the summer-weight afghans have been stowed and their autumnal siblings have been released from storage. There's at least one afghan draped on a couch or chair in every room (including my office), so something cozy is at hand as the days grow shorter and the temps grow cooler.

I love neutrals, but as the temps fall, I become ever more enamored with rich, hearty colors to offset the growing grey and gloom. Mother nature seems to feel the same, since she's pulled out all the stops and delivered a true visual feast of heartwarming hues.

While I work to finish up Herlacyn with its warm, saturated shades, I've been entertaining myself thinking about favorite color combinations particularly well-suited to fall. If your thoughts have been traveling in the same vein, you might find some of these options useful.

Here are 10 terrific fall color combos:

Classic I
Coffee, currant, squash

Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg

Bark, olive, nutmeg

Rosemary, sage, thyme

Sage, orange, ginger

Classic II
Olive, currant, honey

Lake, deep rust, gold

Old pewter, ruby, old gold

Sugar maple, oak, aspen

Apple, pumpkin, cider

As always, this assortment doesn't come close to exhausting the full range of possibilities, but if you're on a fall color quest, they'll get you started.

Spice, Greenery and Foliage would look lovely worked as three- or five-stage tone-on-tone ombres or gradients, and you could create a fun rainbow effect by mixing and matching colors from different clusters.

If you're seeking surefire combinations for the guys on your knitting list, it's difficult to go wrong with autumn-based schemes, which most men find naturally appealing. Whatever course of action you choose, have fun and experiment.

Meanwhile, I can't think of a better way to make the most of this colorful season than by knitting something in enticing fall shades. Can you?


To see all Color Talk posts, click here.
Connecting with the linkups in the sidebar.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...