Crocheting with Color Gradient Yarns!

In recent months I’ve really come to love color gradient yarns. Those soft and slow color changing yarns that have been the friend of a knitter for ages. The first time I used one of these yarns was in 2015 with my knit shawl, Fuente. 

I really loved knitting this design up. It’s worked in a simple garter stitch lace pattern from the top down. The biggest issue we crocheters have had is that the color changes aren’t often long enough, which leads to pooling. Pooling (as pictured below) is when small blips of color cluster together and create these unintentional (or planned in some cases) pools of color. They’re cute, and can really work for a design – but when working with gradient yarns, not the look we are going for. 

In 2018 we’ve had a slew of new gradient yarns on the market, available from Indie Dyers to Big Box Brands such as Lion Brand and Red Heart. The best thing about these new yarns is that they’re formulated to work with crocheters. That makes my heart happy. 

As most of you know, I design for Red Heart quite a bit – they’re my fav yarn company after all – and this year I had the opportunity to really play with gradient yarns. My favorite, by far, was It’s a Wrap Rainbow. A unique color gradient yarn made from a super soft and strong blend of cotton/acrylic. 

At a WOPPING 623 yards, this yarn is a steal at around $12 a ball. I know, I know, I’m not here to sell you on this yarn. But, seriously, get some. 

I was able to design a tunic that really showed off what this yarn can do. My favorite part of the process was brainstorming how to use the yarn and where to place the colors. These yarns are amazing, but no one wants big blocks of color running horizontally across us, especially if we are trying to design a tunic (it would add an unnecessary heaviness to the hips). 

So, top down it was. But…did I just want a simple top-down raglan or yoke style sweater? Not really. It just didn’t sing to me the way I wanted. Then I went into my design inspo folders and did a bit of pursuing in the Japanese section. 

Japanese crochet is amazing and delicate and soft and…{insert adjectives here}. I adore the way Japanese designers play with yarn and color. I’d seen this design style a few times and thought I could make it work with a simpler stitch. Then I thought of a granny rectangle…and had it. I would make a granny rectangle tunic.

Working from the top down in a rectangle, increasing at four distinct points allowed me to show off the yarn without overwhelming with complicated stitches. The class 3dc cluster was perfect and aided in the transitions. You see, many gradient yarns don’t have smooth transitions, but instead, have very harsh switches from one color to the next. It’s a Wrap Rainbow doesn’t have this, but I wanted to keep in mind that not everyone would design with the yarn that I did.

You can definitely see how, beginning at the neckline facilitates an even and soft flows out to the waist, which is then worked in the round down to the hem. My biggest regret was not cutting out the white-ish colors. Honestly, if you just skipped those colors and joined the blue, it would look ten times better. But, that’s just me. So, that’s how the Not-So-Granny Tunic was born. Necessity really is the mother of invention, isn’t it? 

Crocheting with Gradient Yarns is easy and with just a few tips and tricks you can really get the best bang for your buck. I’ve put together a few tips for you and a giveaway! Look for those below!

  1. If possible, work in the round. You just such a smooth and even transition that really shows off the yarn. 
  2. Choose colors you love – and make sure you love all of them. If not, don’t worry. I’ve been known to cut a section of color out!
  3. Plan your colors, keeping in mind where you have the most stitches, this will use the most yarn and will create thinner stripes than the sections with fewer stitches. 
  4. Choose a simple stitch. Keep it as basic as possible. This is about the yarn, not the stitch. 
  5. Have fun! These yarns are meant to shine! Let them do their thing and experiment and have fun! You got this!

Now – for the giveaway! Today, I’m going to give away 2 skeins of Red Heart It’s a Wrap Rainbow! How cool is that! Two skeins is enough to make the Not-So-Granny Tunic in almost every size!

Simply leave a comment on this post with the word, “Gradient” and you’ll be entered to win. Open to US residents only. Giveaway will close on Monday December 10th. =

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13 comments

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  1. Chrus Lopez

    I love the gradient colors and have been wanting to make something with Its A Wrap Rainbow. Thank you for an awesome giveaway.

  2. katerprincess

    I’ve been on the hunt for It’s A Wrap Rainbow. Limited options in a rural area, but after seeing this tunic, I’m going to the bigger town 🙂
    Red Heart has made so many beautiful gradient yarns this past year or so. Many are colors I would have never thought to put together, but I absolutely love them all! Having the color uniqueness of hand dyed yarn with the durability, washability, and cost of acrylic yarn is just amazing!

  3. Patricia A Dunnell

    I love gradient yarn, and in my opinion Red Heart It’s A Wrap Rainbow is the best gradient yarn of all. I love the oh-so-gradual color changes.

  4. Melanie Titus

    I have just ordered some of the more fun gradient yarns from online for myself for an early Christmas present. But winning a few more wouldn’t hurt!! 😀

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