Have a Play: Using a gradient in Flight of Colour

I’m excited to share with you a new feature on the blog that I’ve been wanting to introduce for a while. I often get emails from happy knitters and shops that have knit samples of my patterns, but with their own playful changes. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember to make notes in your project page on Ravelry, or to look at what others have done. I thought it would be fun to have the knitters of those projects share their modifications here so that everyone can be inspired to knit their own version.

Sarah's Flight of Colour shows off a gradient interspersed with solid stripes

Sarah’s Flight of Colour shows off a gradient interspersed with solid stripes

Today’s guest blog post is by Sarah Lewis of Purlescence who created a lightweight shop sample of Flight of Colour using SweetGeorgia Yarns Tough Love Sock and one of their Party of Five gradient packs. Read on to learn how she did it.

I should start out by saying that I’m a huge fan of Louise’s patterns, and this certainly isn’t the first of hers that I’ve made, and it won’t be the last. I love the flexibility of her patterns, which make them very accessible to put your own touches to and so make each item truly unique.

I’ve been lucky enough to borrow some of the samples from the book for some of the shows and events we’ve attended this year, and I fell in love with Flight of Colour instantly. It’s a very wearable style and a real wardrobe staple.

Flight of Colour in a lightweight 4ply makes it perfect for cooler days in the summer

Flight of Colour in a lightweight 4ply makes it perfect for cooler days in the summer

Whilst I adore the DK version from the book, I wanted to knit a lighter version in 4 ply yarn for the spring and summer. Obviously in England we need a scarf for summer as well as winter! I’d also been keen to use one of the stunning Party of Five gradient sets from SweetGeorgia Yarns, so decided to put the two together and planned to use the gradient set along with one skein of SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock in a semi-solid colour. The choice of gradient set was fairly quick. I’m always drawn to teals so it had to be Swell. But the choice of a main colour to work with that took a bit more consideration. Maybe a neutral like Tumbled Stone, or a darker brown like Bison or maybe Auburn? Then a skein of Cayenne caught my eye and, for me, it was a match made in heaven. Enough of a contrast to show off the gradient set to the maximum advantage and bold enough to be eye-catching without but being too shouty.

So colours chosen, my thoughts then turned to the maths bit. In her book, Louise helpfully provides plenty of ideas of how to adapt the pattern for different yarn weights. I decided I wanted to use each colour from the Party of Five just three times overall – once in the centre section and then once in each of the two wings.

Let’s call Cayenne the main colour (MC) and the 5 mini skeins in the gradient set being contrast colours (CC1, CC2, CC3, CC4 and CC5). I cast on with a 3.75mm needle and knitted the Set-Up section in MC, and then knitted the Centre section using the sequence CC1, MC, CC2, MC, CC3, MC, CC4, MC, CC5, MC. Once you get to that point, it’s easy to follow the same principle and continue the sequence into the wings, using each CC just once in each wing.

I love Sarah's bold choice of colours: a rich Cayenne orange contrast beautifully with the teals in the Swell Party of Five gradient pack

I love Sarah’s bold choice of colours: a rich Cayenne orange contrast beautifully with the teals in the Swell Party of Five gradient pack

I was slightly concerned about running out of one of the CCs, but kept weighing as I went along, and it worked out beautifully. In fact I used slightly under half the total yarn so would have just enough to make another Flight of Colour. If you like the idea of this, then you’d need to reverse the gradient set, so CC1 becomes CC5, CC2 becomes CC4 and so on. For my project CC1 was the darkest colour and CC5 the lightest. Of course if you wanted to ring the changes, you could use the leftovers to knit another project from the book, maybe a Yarn Tamer or possibly the newly released Denim Sky(LZB: Ooh! I love these ideas!)

Overall, I’m delighted with the end result. A very wearable scarf for this time of year which is exactly what I wanted, and I love the way the colours have worked. It was a pleasure to knit, clearly written and well explained. It was a quick and straightforward knit with enough going on to keep me interested without needing too much attention. Perfect as a travel project.

I can’t wait to see other combinations using a gradient set. I love the idea of using the Graphite set with a bright like Lip Gloss or Mint Julep. (LZB: These would be amazing colour combos!)


Thank you so much Sarah for sharing your modifications with us! I think I’m going to have knit myself one of these now too! Mmmm…. Graphite and Mint Julep…

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