Ombre Yarns!

Ombré everything is in right now, and yarns are no exception. In Knitscene Fall 2013, we round up a small selection of some of our favorite ombré yarns—you can see the yarns in their pristine form on page 6 of the fall issue.

But the entire point of ombré, especially in yarn form, is that you need to see how the colors change and play together, so Louisa and I spent a few afternoons knitting up swatches in these yarns. We used the Stacked Necklace pattern from The Shape of Knitting by Lynne Barr (Stewart, Tabori, & Chang, 2013), a great book for anyone looking for knitting patterns for common items in unusual and intriguing shapes. I'd never knit a necklace before, but this knitted jewelry pattern became insanely addictive. And for the most part, showed off the beautiful shifts in the ombré yarns so well.

I say for the most part because we never quite got to the color shift of Freia Fine Handpaints Sport yarn in the Grapevine color. That purple just kept on going and going and never got to the lighter green or yellow part of the yarn. This swatch was knit on US size 5 needles; obviously varying your needle size will affect the gauge and size of your own knitted necklace.
But other yarns had shorter repeats, though still longer than a traditional variegated yarn, so we got a little more action from those. Filatura Di Crosa Tempo, for example, shifted fairly quickly and the tweedy effect contributed to the fun patterning in this necklace, knit on US size 7 needles.
My personal favorite is this gigantic "statement piece," knit in Berroco Quasar on US size 10 needles. I want to wear it everywhere!
The bright orange of Schoppel Woll Gradient is a happy, cheerful color, especially as some of us are eager and anxious for autumn to arrive. Louisa knit this on US size 7 needles.
And finally, the Viking Nordlys necklace came out more of a choker on US size 5. The colors in this superwash yarn reminded me of the entire shift of a day's sky.

Of course, putting these necklaces on our office mannequin (that's Betty, by the way) is only half the picture.

We've got two great patterns in Knitscene Fall 2013 that use ombré yarns—Ginevra Martin's Terrace Socks and Barbara Benson's Ziggurat Scarf—but yarns with long color repeats are great to use in easy sweater patterns, such as Debbie O'Neill's Equinox Raglan. Any pattern where the yarn does the work for you is a good pattern in my book!

Happy knitting,

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