Mar 26, 2017

How to Create a 5-Stage Gradient (Option 1)

Creating your own custom ombres and gradients is a fun and effective way to combine colors and use up leftovers and partial skeins, so it's one of my go-to solutions. 

One of my favorite approaches is the simple five-stage gradient, the fourth example highlighted in Ombres & Gradients: 5 Ways to Create Your Own. With just three colors, you can produce very different looks depending on whether you use high-contrast or closely related shades.

Let's take a quick look at the basics.

4. Five-stage gradient (option 1): Kintra Mitts


Yarn. Tajmahal (GGH, Lane Cervinia), Charlemont (Valley Yarns)

Stitch. The slip stitch produces a reversible fabric with stretchy, hand-hugging ribs.

Strategy. Solid areas are separated by transitional sections worked in alternating two-row stripes. To achieve a similar look:

  • Choose three compatible colors.
  • Arrange them from dark to light or light to dark.
  • Work the first section with the darkest shade only, CC1.
  • Work the second section with one dark and one medium, CC1 and CC2.
  • Work the third section with the medium shade, CC2.
  • Work the fourth section with one medium and one light, CC2 and CC3.
  • Work the fifth section with the lightest shade only, CC3.

The overall strategy couldn't be easier, but it produces very attractive results. For those who like specifics, the accent stripe was worked in Charlemont (Burgundy) and the mitt body was worked as follows:
  • Section 1: Black
  • Section 2: Black and grey
  • Section 3: Grey
  • Section 4: Grey and cream
  • Section 5: Cream

The Kintra Greyridge mitts below illustrate the same strategy, worked in closely related charcoal, pewter and silver shades for a tonal or ombre effect.

Five-stage gradients work with any color combination, so they're a highly effective stashbusting strategy and easy way to transform a simple pattern into a standout piece.

Try using fine yarns with a soft hand for a stunning scarf, cowl, shawl or stole. Or use assorted cotton or cotton-blend leftovers to create a rainbow of gradient dishcloths, towels, placemats or table runners.

However you choose to use this particular gradient strategy, I can guarantee you'll have fun. Just be forewarned, experimenting with different combinations can quickly become addictive.

To see the five-stage gradient (option 2), click here.
To see more ombre and gradient concepts, click here.

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