Jun 25, 2017

How to Knit a Simple Mirror Gradient

Mirror gradients and ombres are one of the easiest ways to transform a few colors into something interesting and dynamic.

As the name implies, mirror gradients feature a series of colors worked in sequence then repeated in reverse order to create an echoed or mirrored design. The basic strategy is straightforward and nothing could be simpler than this version, which requires only two colors.

Mirror Gradient: Colsie Mitts 

Yarns. Champagne (Grignasco)

Stitch. This is the same fast and easy slipped stitch I've been using for a range of quick mitts and gradient examples. It creates a very stretchy, reversible 3x2 ribbed fabric, and the occasional slipped stitch adds interest as you fade from one color to the next.

Strategy. This version features five equal sections. To work it:

  • Choose two colors.
  • Work section 1 with CC1 only.
  • Work section 2 with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work section 3 with CC2 only.
  • Work section 4 with CC1 and CC2.
  • Work section 5 with CC1 only.

In the example shown, the colors were worked as follows:

  • Section 1: Teal
  • Section 2: Teal and Cloud
  • Section 3: Cloud
  • Section 4: Teal and Cloud
  • Section 5: Teal

The end result is a pleasing, balanced gradient with infinite possibilities. The version shown features one complete five-stage gradient sequence, an approach that works for any piece large or small. Or, you could repeat it multiple times to create a scarf, cowl, shawl, stole, sweater, hat or afghan. (If I didn't already have so many projects on the needles, I'd be working Twegen in mirror gradients.)

This example features equal segments, but you could create a very interesting effect by working more rows in the solid sections and fewer ones in the striped sections, or vice versa. Just remember to consistently mirror the sequence as you work the piece.

From stockinette and garter to seed and slipped stitches, mirror gradients work in almost any stitch you might choose. Seed stitch is particularly attractive, because it creates a wonderfully blended effect in the transitional striped sections.

If you're in the mood to experiment, try pairing two lonely singletons from stash. Start swatching, or do what I often do and make a quick pair of mitts. Opt for a contrasting combination as shown or choose closely related shades for a tonal ombre look. 

I can't speak for you, but I'm heading to my stash now to look for unloved yarns that might shine in a simple mirror gradient.

PS: For those who've inquired, the Colsie Mitts pattern is in development and will be available soon.

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  1. I love your mitts for me I need a thumb is it possible to add a thumb to your pattern?

    1. So nice to hear, Helen, thank you!

      Absolutely you can add thumbs to the pattern. If I were to do so, I'd seam the mitt, pick up stitches around the thumb opening, work a few rounds until the thumb portion was the desired length, then bind off. Does that make sense?


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