Lots of knitters love to use gradient color yarns. Often shawl patterns work best for this, and I have found a free, simple pattern to try. It is called the Scrappy Bias Shawl and you can download it at Ravelry. I am grateful to knitters who share their free patterns. It’s the perfect way for beginners to get used to trying new things.
Some yarn shops will offer small skeins of colors that match or contrast which can be knit up in any order you choose to make your own gradient of color. This requires adding new colors as you knit and can leave lots of tails to deal with. The effect can be quite pretty, but with lots of weaving to come.
Speckled or variegated yarns can also be used to create a gradient effect, and I love the look. I began the ‘Scrappy Bias Shawl’ using dark green fingering yarn, then dug out more skeins hoping to have the colors changes from dark to light along the way. I am not finished, and will begin to revert back to darker colors to end with.
Create Your Own Design
What I love about this simple pattern is that once you know the basics of the shaping, the colors can be anything at all! It could be done in wide stripes, skinny stripes, a solid color, or add a simple pattern to some of the rows.
I decided to knit approximately 20 rows with one color, and then alternate two rows with my next color choice. You can see that in my image below where I went from pink to yellow, then yellow to variegated white. I did not buy any yarn, but used what I had in my stash already. I believe the “scrappy” part of the title is meant for knitters to use up their scrap yarn on this project.
Mostly I am using Mad Tosh Merino Light and similar sock / fingering weight yarn. It’s a simple garter stitch knit with increases at one side and a decrease at the other. I wanted my colors to “blend” as I progressed. Viewing the pattern page will also show how other knitters interpreted this pattern.
Changing yarns: All my new yarn was added on the same side of the project so each color row made one complete back and forth row. Then I would pick up the alternate color to knit. Once I was done with the previous color, I cut it and continued on with the new color.
For easy counting of stitches, I have added stitch markers at 20 stitch intervals. Once you memorize the beginning and ending of rows, this pattern is super simple to knit while watching television.
Avoid All Those Tails by Using Gradient Yarn
After some searching online I found some lovely yarn at The Fibre Studio called 50 Shades of Gradient. Check out “Nantahala” (one I must buy soon) and others that come in cake skeins which make wide color swaths that gradually change as you knit. The Nantahala skein shows a finished shawl made with that yarn, and it is beautiful! This type of yarn would work for this shawl pattern and would do away with tails of added yarn.