Gradients and ombres are awesome! And they create stunning colour effects in all sorts of projects. One of my favourite things is going through Pinterest to find amazing ways to use colour in knitting and crochet patterns, and the gradient and ombre projects just jump off the screen.
And while lots of them use single-skein gradient yarns, I gotta tell you that — personally — I prefer Mini-Skein gradients for those projects. Yeah, it is because SpaceCadet makes Mini-Skeins (of course!) but, here, let me share with you the five reasons why I love Mini-Skeins way more than one-skein gradients
1. You Control the Colour Changes
So you’re knitting something beautiful and the lace section is coming to an end… and that’d be the perfect place for the colour change to happen, right? With a one-skein gradient, you don’t have any control over that — you just have to hope everything lines up — but with Mini-Skeins, you are totally in control. If the lace section ends a few inches before one colour finishes, you simply switch to the next Mini-Skein and carry on knitting. And your project looks so much more stunning — because you are entirely in control of the colour changes!
2. You can use Mini-Skeins to Add Pops of Colour to Any Project
When you pick up a bundle of Mini-Skeins, it’s easy to think of them as a single unit — something that has to be used up in one project like a one-skein gradient — but Mini-Skeins aren’t like that at all. Break that bundle up and what you have a bunch of yarn-crayons that you can use anywhere and in any combination. Pick one colour for a contrasting edging on a collar or cuffs (like MSkiKnits’s beautiful Sanctuary Shrug, below). Or take a basic gray sweater and line the pockets in bright red that just barely peeks out.
3. You Can Use Them to Create Larger Projects
We do something amazing with our gradient Mini-Skeins — each month’s colourway blends into the next month’s colourway so that, month after month, you can collect a stunning Never-Ending gradient. One-skein gradients work perfectly in one-skein projects — and, with careful thought, can sometimes work in larger projects — but with the Never-Ending gradient Mini-Skeins, you are free to use your Minis in as large a project as you like!
4. You can Start Anywhere
So you’ve found this gorgeous gradient and the thing you love love love about it is that amazing magenta right there in the middle of the skein. Except you want it right on the edge of your shawl where it will really stand out, not buried in the middle. With a one-skein gradient or even with most mini-skeins sets, you’re stuck — the colour progression is set and it wouldn’t work in any other order.
But our Mini-Skein gradients are uniquely designed to work in a complete circle, so that instead of starting a project at Skein 1 and working through to Skein 5, you could start a project anywhere in the set, and the skeins all work together. You you won’t get that in any other gradient. So hooray — your magenta can be on the edge. You’re completely in control!
5. You can Mix and Match between Gradient Sets (Or… Your Favourite Colour isn’t Trapped)
When we dye a set of gradient Mini-Skeins, we’re telling a colourstory — a story that starts with one hue, moves gently through several others, and finally ends with the last hue — just like a one-skein gradient. So these colours all work together beautifully within the set, but the cool thing with Mini-Skeins is that you are not limited by the colourstory we dyed. If you find yourself wishing you could pair up a colour from one set with a colour from a completely different set… well, you totally can! Your favourite shades aren’t trapped within their separate gradient — they’re Mini-Skeins, so you just take them out of their sets and put them together any way you like.
My assistant Jade did exactly that when she spotted three Mini-Skeins from two different sets that she thought would work beautifully together. Each skein played a bright shade against a background of gray and so, while the brights pop and bounce, the gray ties everything together. Because they were dyed on Mini-Skeins, none of these colours was trapped within a different gradient — and the result is gorgeous!
So you see, Mini-Skeins gradients give you amazing control and endless options for colourplay! Go for a big project or small, create eye-catching pops of colour, and mix-and-match your skeins. Best of all, you are always in control. And for that reason more than any other, I love Mini-Skeins for gradients!