Jul 9, 2017

Tonal Gradients that Glimmer & Gleam

If you've been following along, you know I've been having fun playing with various ombre and gradient combinations and sharing how-to tips so you can create your own. I've also been swatching up a storm for various upcoming projects and seeking ways to leverage lovely yarns from my stash.

These three yarns recently captured my attention, so the time seemed right to test them in a subtle tone-on-tone gradient featuring the two closely related solids paired with a variegated yarn with metallic flecks. Here's the result:

If you study the swatch closely, you can see how the color shifts from bottom to top. The first two inches are worked in teal Champagne paired with the variegated Blue Heron, the center section is worked in Blue Heron, and the last two inches were worked in lake and Blue Heron. 

What doesn't show up well in these shots are the sheen of silk in the Champagne yarn and the flickers of metallic gold that add glimmer and gleam. Here it is again from a slightly different angle:

Look closely and you might catch the tiny glints of gold:

Tonal gradient: Shawl swatch

Stitch. This features the fluted rib stitch. Not only is it one of my all-time favorite reversible stitches, it does a lovely job of blending colors.

Strategy.  The top and bottom sections are worked in alternating two-row stripes, while the center is worked solid. To achieve a similar look:
  • Choose three related colors. 
  • Designate one color as your MC, because it will appear in each section.
  • Work section 1 with MC and CC1.
  • Work section 2 with MC only.
  • Work section 3 with MC and CC2.

                  In the swatch, the colors were worked as follows:
                  • Section 1: Teal and Deep Blue Sea
                  • Section 2: Deep Blue Sea
                  • Section 3: Lake and Deep Blue Sea

                  This super-simple strategy is packed with possibilities. I used the variegated yarn as the main color, but you could use a solid, heathered, speckled, tonal, tweedy or textured yarn just as easily. To deal with variegated yarns that pool in unattractive ways, pick another closely related solid yarn and work every section in two-row alternating stripes. The key is to pick one yarn to carry through every section.

                  The next time you're choosing a color strategy for a project, consider a tonal gradient with or without the flash of metallic accents. It's an easy, effective way to create a custom ombre or gradient that's uniquely your own.

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